Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wall Street Journal on Muni Broadband

The venerable WSJ puts out a pretty even-handed review of the contending sides of the municipal fiber to the home movement. There's a succienct summary of the necessary background--from the US's falling rankings in internet connectivity to the desire for towns and small cities to boost growth, to the needs of small business for reasonably priced bandwidth, to the consistent objections of incumbent providers.

The story takes off from the case of Chattanooga which is working toward installing its own FTTH network. Chattanooga is being sued by Cox and other cable companies--which is no surprise to Lafayette's citizens. (At issue there too is the incumbents' reliance on a new state law that forbids "cross subsidization.") The story closes with the following on-target quote:
"The issue is, does our community control our own fate,'" says Mr. DePriest. "Or does someone else control it?"

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