Next Generation Broadband in Montana
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Sensing a threat to their business model, telecom companies are pushing more states to curb the spread of publicly funded high-speed Internet access, arguing the networks could squash competition.
"Seattle and Chicago are looking around and basically saying, ‘If we’re the last ones to get really high-quality access to the internet, then we’re really going to be screwed,’
Susan Crawford thinks she sees the future of the Internet–and it isn’t pretty: Cable companies monopolizing broadband, charging too much, withholding content and keeping speeds low, all in order to suppress disruptive innovation.
Strickling strongly made the point that even if broadband exists, it may be of an inadequate speed and capacity to handle a rural school of 1,000 students which requires 100 Mpbs.
Experts believe that this reluctance has less to do with a lack of customer demand and more to do with protecting high margin broadband businesses.
Erie’s elected leaders decided Tuesday night not to move ahead with a detailed analysis of what a townwide high-speed broadband network might look like, instead opting to survey residents first to gauge their level of interest in such a venture.
At MuniNetworks.org, we provide resources for those joining the movement to build broadband networks that are directly accountable to the communities they serve. Case studies, fact sheets, and video are some of the media we offer to help leaders make decisions about community owned networks.
“Right now if you’re sending an email, for example, it goes from Seattle to Minneapolis and then back to Missoula,” Missoula City Councilwoman Caitlin Copple said.
It tracks dark fiber networks, publicly owned stimulus funded networks, and which networks are already advertising and/or delivering gigabit services.
In areas where connectivity options are few, government has stepped in to fill the void, financing modern networks with taxpayer dollars. Cities like Chattanooga, Tenn., and Lafayette, La., have gotten a lot of attention for investing public dollars in broadband infrastructure.
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