Fierce Telecom is running a story on municipal broadband. Its positive coverage is not exhaustive or in-depth but it is a sign that the trade press is beginning to notice the significant impact that municipal providers have on their market and realize that the munis are not going to somehow shrivel up and go away as their incumbent informants had implied.
Just a few years ago, municipal broadband looked like a long shot to many communities. State or local regulations, legal challenges by established broadband providers, and a shaky economy were among the hurdles that communities had to surmount to bring affordable, high-speed service to businesses and residents.
But times appear to be changing....these homegrown efforts are giving incumbents like AT&T (NYSE: T), Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), and others a run for their money
Lafayette makes the cut as one of their five "top municipal contenders." From the page on Lafayette:.
The investment so far is paying off. Incumbents including Cox Communications are competing on price, saving the city's 120,000 residents a considerable amount of money in subscription costs. And the LUS Fiber network's speed is drawing in new businesses that see connectivity as critical to their bottom line.
"Their advertised speed is actually what you get. I don't know any other provider in the United States that can do that," Scott Eric Olivier, owner of Skyscaper Holdings, told USAToday in a 2012 article about the city's fiber build. He moved his startup from Los Angeles to Lafayette on the strength of those speeds and service.
...LUS Fiber's network is also large enough to provide wholesale broadband services. Overall, it has served as an example to other municipalities of how to build on existing dark fiber assets to future-proof the connectivity needs of businesses and residents.Also, of course, we get to control our own destiny and staunch the flow of money bleeding out of the community.