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Madison Taxpayers Already Overtaxed, But City Might Build Muni Network Anyway

November 21, 2017

Matt Kittle, an investigative reporter with the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank, believes taxpayers in Madison are getting fleeced. He might be right. In a column published on Nov. 15, Kittle reported that the Madison Common Council has spent $841,00 in pursuit of a taxpayer-financed, government-owned broadband network—and might spend more even though a …

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EAGLE-Net: A Reminder Of Statewide Government Broadband Gone Wrong

November 7, 2017

According to the Grand Junction, Colo. Daily Sentinel, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) “has sent yet another letter to federal officials asking for a full accounting of” EAGLE-Net, the “intergovernmental high-speed internet network that was supposed to connect the state’s rural schools with full broadband connectivity,” but never did.  The federal government awarded a $100 …

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Little Shop Of Horrors: $1.9 Billion Proposal For San Francisco Municipal Network

October 31, 2017

Taxpayers in San Francisco should be spooked. According to a consultants’ report released earlier this month, it potentially would cost the city $1.9 billion to build a municipal broadband network that would connect every home and business to the internet. Columbia Telecommunications Corporation, a firm in Maryland that is the driving force behind many municipal …

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Municipal Broadband: “A Long And Hazardous Journey”

October 31, 2017

The news site Law360 recently examined state and local efforts to spur rural broadband development, including the proliferation of taxpayer-financed municipal broadband networks. Reporter Kelcee Griffis found that, in general, city broadband projects are struggling. She cited Greenfield, Mass.’s government network, which became subject to “a corruption probe just months after it began offering internet …

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Raleigh Area Underwhelmed With Google Fiber

October 26, 2017

ABC 11 in Raleigh, N.C. recently sent reporter Jon Camp to examine whether taxpayer-subsidized Google Fiber had made any progress bringing high-speed broadband to the city and its surrounding areas. Google Fiber announced its entry into the Raleigh market in January 2015 with the help of the former governor and seven mayors. At the time, …

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More Opposition To KentuckyWired

October 26, 2017

Recently, several news outlets in Kentucky, including SurfKY.com, ran a column by Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions CEO Jim Waters. Waters compares KentuckyWired, the commonwealth’s statewide broadband network, to the “Big Dig,” a Massachusetts roads project that took decades to build and eventually became the most expensive highway project in U.S. history. Like the …

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Are Lancaster Taxpayers Paying For Substandard Service?

August 22, 2017

Last May, this blog discussed Lancaster, Penn.’s decision to use city-owned green space to house infrastructure for its public-private broadband network, LanCity Connect. Neighborhood activists and local newspaper editors were outraged. Since then, construction of LanCity Connect has been plodding along and, according to LancasterOnline, residents’ complaints have grown well beyond those expressed last spring. …

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How Much Will Taxpayers Need To Spend To Finish KentuckyWired?

August 14, 2017

Last week, this blog highlighted state lawmakers’ growing worries about KentuckyWired, the Bluegrass State’s taxpayer-financed broadband system. We noted that, in a recent legislative hearing, some officials even called for plans to shut down the network.  Bluegrass Institute President and CEO Jim Waters, who reported on the hearing in Richmond Register, seems to think that’s …

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Tennessee Comptrollers: Newport System Won’t Work

May 30, 2017

According to Chris Butler at the Tennessee Watchdog, comptrollers in the state have told officials in the city of Newport that their plans for a government-owned broadband network are not feasible.  Newport utility officials believe that 45 percent of residents will subscribe to the city network. The comptrollers seemed to say that percentage would be …

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Do Consumers Want Taxpayer-Financed Gigabit Service?

May 24, 2017

That’s a good question, and it’s one the Coalition for the New Economy often has asked. It’s certainly one that officials in many U.S. counties and towns have answered affirmatively. But just because local lawmakers build these networks, doesn’t mean consumers will come. To illustrate, let’s go “Down Under.” Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) offers …

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