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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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Gig System Didn’t Create Chattanooga, Chattanoogans Created It

August 17, 2017

If you believe its proponents, Chattanooga, Tenn.’s municipal broadband system has helped the city attract new businesses and add jobs, and even reduce electricity costs. In a recent column in the national magazine The Weekly Standard, David Allen Martin, a member of Chattanooga’s start-up community, says those assertions aren’t quite right. While acknowledging the system …

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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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Newport, Tenn. Consultant Would Benefit From Government Network

April 25, 2017

East Tennessee native and Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) Senior Scholar Drew Johnson says that the city of Newport, in east Tennessee, is about to make “a very big mistake” and the force driving the city toward that error is the only one that stands to benefit. The mistake Johnson is referring to would be using …

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Taxpayer Groups Urges Tennessee, Mississippi To Reject Government Broadband

March 9, 2017

Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation (TPAF) President David Williams published two columns this week outlining municipal broadband failures around the country and urging lawmakers in Tennessee and Mississippi to reject government internet networks. The columns are based off of a map that TPAF recently released that examines more than 200 government-owned networks around the country. The …

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CDE Lightband Continually Disappoints Customers

March 8, 2017

According to Tennessee Watchdog, taxpayers in Clarksville, Tenn. have spent $75 million on a government-owned broadband network, CDE Lightband, that routinely leaves them in the dark. The network suffered an outage earlier this week, but it wasn’t the first. Tennessee Watchdog notes “the municipal broadband service has had several outages over the past three years.” …

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Tennessee Governor Offers Rural Broadband Plan

February 1, 2017

As Watchdog.Org’s Johnny Kampis explained yesterday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has introduced draft legislation that “would emphasize grants and incentives” for private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and electric cooperatives to build broadband networks “over allowing taxpayer-supported municipal networks to expand.” Specifically, the bill would make $45 million in tax credits and grants available to telecommunications …

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Chattanooga EPB Cable Prices Rise Three Times Faster Than Private Competitor’s

January 11, 2017

On January 1, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that that city residents will welcome 2017 by paying higher prices for cable service from the city-owned fiber network operated by the Electric Power Board (EPB). The average price increase for cable from EPB Fiber for 2017 is 13 percent compared to just a 3.8 percent …

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Tennessee Group: So What If Taxpayers Lose On Government Broadband

October 17, 2016

According to a group called Sustainable and Equitable Agricultural Development (SEAD), local taxpayers and ratepayers don’t necessarily need to get their money back when they invest in a government owned broadband network (GON). Comparing broadband to roads and sewers, SEAD spokesperson William Isom told Tennessee Watchdog, “It should not be a profit-driven service at this …

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San Antonio Taxpayers Pay For Google Fiber Mistakes—Will Nashvillians Be Next?

September 26, 2016

Earlier this month, the Coalition for the New Economy highlighted a column by Utah Taxpayers Association Vice President Billy Hesterman that argued taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize Google Fiber broadband networks. Just how widespread are Google Fiber’s favors? Well, in Nashville the company just won a vote that will allow it to move other Internet providers’ infrastructure …

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