Right now, state legislatures – where the incumbents wield great power – are keeping towns and cities in the U.S. from making their own choices about their communications networks. Meanwhile, municipalities, cooperatives and small independent companies are practically the only entities building globally competitive networks these days. Both AT&T and Verizon have ceased the expansion of next-generation fiber installations across the U.S., and the cable companies’ services greatly favor downloads over uploads.
Such a shame there is almost no real competition in broadband service. I’ve often wondered if one solution to the lack of investment by the big players would be for communities to own their own networks. This column paints an ugly picture of the efforts these players will go to to keep that from happening.