Municipal Broadband Primer Emphasizes the Practical
Posted at 11:24 a.m. on May 6, 2014
The New America Foundation and consulting firm CTC Technology & Energy released a report this morning that’s intended to be a primer on the options that local communities have for building public broadband networks. It looks at different models, broadband technologies, benefits and risks. “In light of the current debates about net neutrality and the potential Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, it is more important than ever that communities begin to discuss local broadband options,” said Patrick Lucey, a public policy associate with the foundation’s Open Technology Institute, in a news release.
From the report:
Communities should consider three primary issues when first considering a public broadband project: 1) Control—who owns the network and decides how it operates, 2) Risk—the costs associated with developing and running the network balanced against the revenue it generates, and 3) Reward—the benefits achieved through successful implementation of the project. Achieving all three—the desired level of control, minimum risk, and maximum reward—is difficult.
Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler mentioned municipal broadband in a speech at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention in Los Angeles. “I have said before that I believe the FCC has the power, and I intend to exercise that power, to pre-empt state laws that ban competition from community broadband,” he said.