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It’s Groundhog Day In Seattle

October 19, 2017

TheStranger.Com reported earlier this month that the Seattle, Wash. city council will once again consider a measure that would allow local officials to explore the possibility of building a municipal broadband network.  According to the website, council member Rob Johnson “plans to introduce an amendment to the 2018 budget to hire a city staffer focused …

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Heartland Institute Scholar: Time To Sell Burlington Telecom

October 17, 2017

The Coalition for the New Economy has discussed the failure of Burlington, Vt.’s municipal broadband network, Burlington Telecom (BT), several times over the past few years. In 2013, we noted the system “borrowed” (perhaps illegally) $17 million from city taxpayers. We’ve reported that, at one point, the system was carrying at least $50 million in …

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Newport, Tenn. Takes Municipal Broadband Risk Despite Comptroller’s Warning

October 11, 2017

Watchdog.org investigative reporter Johnny Kampis recently revealed that Newport, Tenn. is now ready to spend $24.7 million—or $6,861 per “expected customer”—on a municipal broadband system. (Kampis’ figure is higher than the $21.9 million estimate for the project that the Coalition for the New Economy (CNE) discussed this past April.)  The Newport system will be financed …

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Scholar: Go Private To Reduce Digital Divide

September 29, 2017

Brent Skorup, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has released a new paper outlining recommendations for broadband deployment in the United States. Coalition for the New Economy readers will recall that Skorup’s colleagues at the Mercatus Center issued a study in 2014 that found municipal broadband networks generate “underwhelming economic …

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Iowa Town Told Muni Network Would Be Too Expensive

September 28, 2017

A consultant for a city in Iowa has concluded that local taxpayers cannot afford to build and operate a municipal broadband network.  Decorah, a town of about 9,000 in the northeast part of the state, engaged Uptown Services, a telecommunications firm based in Boulder, Colo., “to conduct a feasibility study of a municipal telecommunications and …

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Mississippi Center For Public Policy: State Doesn’t Need Municipal Broadband

September 27, 2017

Mississippi ranks 49th in the United States in terms of broadband coverage. Even though 100 percent of residents have access to mobile broadband and nearly 90 percent of the state has access to wireline service, Broadband Now considers approximately 40 percent of the state to be underserved.  Does that mean that it’s time for the …

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Report: Savannah, Chatham County Do Not Need Municipal Fiber

September 20, 2017

As this blog reported in January, Chatham County and Savannah, Ga. have toyed with the idea of municipal broadband, even signing up Magellan Advisors to conduct a study about the issue.  After officials on the Savannah City Council and the Chatham County Commission discussed the results of Magellan’s study in May, the issue has died …

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What Are Fort Collins Residents Voting On This Fall?

September 14, 2017

Voters in Fort Collins, Colo. will decide this November whether to move forward on consideration of a municipal broadband network. Heartland Institute writer Brandi Wielgopolski advises residents to vote no on the question, even if the election results don’t necessarily mean the city will move forward with a municipal broadband project.  The network would cost …

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Despite Robust Competition, City ISP Thinks It Can Take 42 Percent Of Market

September 8, 2017

According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, Holland, Mich. is getting into the broadband business despite warnings from “experts in both academia and the private sector” who say a city system “could mean trouble” for taxpayers. The Holland Board of Public Works will operate the government-owned Internet Service Provider (ISP), which will launch in “a small portion” …

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Opelika’s Government Network Hurts Electricity Ratepayers And Taxpayers

September 7, 2017

In late August, Dr. George Ford from the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies released a report on Opelika, Ala.’s government-owned broadband network. Ford also published a column at AL.com discussing Opelika and government-owned networks more generally. His findings confirm government networks harm electricity ratepayers and city taxpayers. Opelika spent $43 …

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