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Economist: Opelika, Ala. Shouldn’t Expand Its Municipal Network

April 13, 2017

Earlier this month, an Alabama senate committee rejected a bill that would allow Opelika’s municipal broadband network to expand beyond its state-mandated footprint. According to George Ford, chief economist of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies, the Senate’s decision was the right one for taxpayers. In a column posted Sunday …

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Taxpayer Advocacy Groups Outline Municipal Broadband Risks

March 28, 2017

  Taxpayer advocacy groups are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to government-owned broadband networks. As we noted last month, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation has assembled data on more than 200 government networks and their impact on local taxpayers and electricity ratepayers. Here are some other recent arguments that caught the Coalition for the …

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U.S. Needs Trillions Just To Repair Roads And Bridges

March 15, 2017

Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its report card on American infrastructure. The Society releases this study every four years. It looks at 16 categories of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, public parks, and wastewater systems. Notably, communications infrastructure is not part of the report card. Overall, America’s infrastructure received a …

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TPA: Time For Taxpayers To Get Off The Sinking Google Fiber Ship

February 13, 2017

Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams argues in a just-published op-ed that it’s time for local lawmakers to cut off Google Fiber’s line of corporate welfare. In the piece, Williams says that “while internet service providers (ISPs) have invested more than $1.5 trillion in private funds in building broadband infrastructure over the last two …

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Should Georgia Eliminate The Telecom Equipment Tax? Yes!

November 17, 2016

A committee of policymakers in Georgia currently is deciding how to best spur broadband investment in rural areas of the state. According to Watchdog.Org, it seems the committee has honed in on a plan that will focus on spurring private sector investment rather than promoting municipal broadband systems. For example, earlier this week Watchdog.Org reported, …

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Taxpayer Advocates Agree: Tennessee GONs Are A Waste

July 15, 2015

The Beacon Center of Tennessee just released its 2015 Pork Report, an annual study that outlines the state’s worst examples of government waste. Not surprisingly, EPB, Chattanooga’s government-owned broadband network (GON) is on the list again this year. The Beacon Center notes that federal taxpayers spent $111 million to fund the network. Beacon Center CEO …

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Taxpayer Group: State Municipal Broadband Laws Should Stand

February 16, 2015

In its February 2015 edition of Wastewatcher Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayer advocacy group, weighs in against government-owned broadband networks and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan, offered by Chairman Tom Wheeler, to overturn state laws that provide oversight of these networks. CAGW says Chairman Wheeler’s proposal is “part of a grand plan to …

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The Cost of Municipal Broadband in Tennessee

December 19, 2014

This week the Coalition for the New Economy released three new infographics summarizing the taxpayer costs of government-owned broadband networks (GONs) in three different Tennessee cities and outlining the opportunity costs of these networks. We found: Clarksville, Tenn. spent $20.5 million on its GON. That $20.5 million could have funded: Annual salaries for 115 Clarksville …

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Round Two: 11 Cities Split on Vote to Adopt UTOPIA Network

July 25, 2014

In June, the Coalition for the New Economy reported leaders in Utah proposed partnering the state’s ailing government-owned broadband network (GON), UTOPIA, with an Australian finance firm, Macquarie Capital. We noted the agreement would allow the 11 localities to retain ownership of the system (Macquarie would manage and finish building the system), but would also …

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Chattanooga’s Shaky, Government-Run Broadband System Covered by Salon

July 22, 2014

Salon last week ran a positive report on Chattanooga, Tenn.’s municipal broadband service, which is operated by the city’s utility, the Electric Power Board (EPB). On this blog, we recently featured Michael Santorelli and Charles Davidson’s study on Chattanooga’s network. The report noted the system used millions of federal taxpayer dollars at the outset (millions of …

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