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[ NNSquad ] Re: 133 US cities now have their own broadband networks

Note that these rules presume that networks must be run as a for-profit
service. We must not accept this framing. We need to remember that this is
about infrastructure and not just the inter-web.

I'm a strong advocate of community ownership but there is a big difference
between continuing in the mold of funding the network as a for-profit
service delivery system and funding it as common infrastructure.

It's useful to read about the history of public roads in the US
(http://goo.gl/chgv2). Fortunately the private pikes were owned by stock
companies founded by local business people who did not need to earn a profit
on the roads themselves. They understand the value came from having the
roads available as a common facility.

These municipal networks are designed as profit centers in hock to
bondholders. This is a problematic model in that bondholders must be paid
back. By requiring that the wires be a profit center the community is
actually worse off in that they must not make it available as infrastructure
because that would undermine the profitability of the networks. Unlike the
large providers these local owners cannot cover their losses from other
revenue sources.

Trying to fund the networks by selling services such as "cable" is very
retro. "Cutting the cord" means that those revenues are no longer there.
Also, unlike providers, the communities don't own the backbone so they are
forced to treat the price of transit out of town as a real cost.


-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 23:48
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] 133 US cities now have their own broadband networks

133 US cities now have their own broadband networks

http://j.mp/en9d58  (ars technica)

       Some of the distribution may be the result of state restrictions on
       community-owned networks. As ILSR's Chris Mitchell noted last year
       here at Ars, many states have legal barriers in place to such
       networks. Nebraska, for instance, has an "outright ban" on the
       practice, while Iowa has no barriers-and Iowa has many community
       networks while Nebraska has none. (Still, this doesn't explain, say,
       Kansas, which has no barriers and no community networks.)

NNSquad Moderator