Clueful Op-Ed on the Current Challenges to Municipal Broadband

I am often frustrated by stories of contested efforts of municipalities to roll out their own high speed networks. Ars has a decent op-ed by Christopher Williams that digs into why these projects still face such challenges. I especially like how Williams ties in the historical comparison to FDR and electrification. This is a common comparison when talking about improving access to high speed internet connections.

I therefore lay down the following principle: That where a community—a city or county or a district—is not satisfied with the service rendered or the rates charged by the private utility, it has the undeniable basic right, as one of its functions of Government, one of its functions of home rule, to set up, after a fair referendum to its voters has been had, its own governmentally owned and operated service.

This FDR quote is well chosen and telling. It speaks to local autonomy and to a valid response to market failures. This piece is well worth a read for anyone else that is as exasperated as I am by the obstructionism of the cable operators and telcos.

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