Should States Fund Municipal Broadband and Cooperatives?
Municipal broadband is booming, growing 600 percent since 2018. These alternatives to private-sector Internet service promise better access and affordability to communities. But are they really cost-effective?
Over 30 percent of American households do not have broadband at home, while as many as 42 million do not have the option to purchase it in the first place, especially in rural areas.
Currently, 17 states have some form of legal restrictions on municipal broadband and five others have more limited restrictions. These types of restrictions are typically promoted by large telecom companies that are incumbent in or seeking to enter relevant markets.
Municipal Broadband Is Roadblocked Or Outlawed In 22 States States without municipal broadband restrictions have lower internet prices on average.
States without restrictions enjoyed higher access to low-priced broadband plans on average. Low-priced access data was taken from active internet plans in our database as of Q2 2020.
America Needs More Open-Access, Middle-Mile Broadband Networks – Montana Law Stands In the Way of Progress
“If we build it, will they come?” The report claims the answer is “yes” based on evidence in several states, including Virginia, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington.
In surprise vote, Montana House Republicans (and incumbent companies) kill Democratic municipal broadband proposal. “(Providers) just do not show up in those small towns”
“(Providers) just do not show up in those small towns,” “We’re trying to show the people of Montana that we’re trying … but we’re getting thwarted at every turn,”
Internet for all: Handful of Montana municipalities test waters of citywide wireless. Not on front burner yet in Montana communities.
Missoula has talked about wireless, but the issue doesn’t appear to be on the front burner yet.
Unfortunately, as many as 20 states prevent localities from forming their own networks. These restrictive state laws should be repealed so that local governments can decide for themselves whether these networks are best for their communities.
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