The growth of municipal broadband networks

Jeff Wheeler jsw at
Sat Mar 26 00:45:18 CDT 2011

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 10:52 PM, George Bonser <gbonser at> wrote:
> I don't.  What happens when the "government" then decides what content
> is and is not allowed to go over their network?  If one had a site that
> provided a view that the government didn't like, would they cut it off?

I appreciate your argument.

When asked by Uncle Sam, the major RBOCs were apparently happy to hand
over customers' records and tap into their phones in direct violation
of the law.  *Asked* not ordered by a court or any legally-empowered
person or entity.  The companies and LEOs then had to fight for
was granted by our federal legislature.

I think we would be far, far better off, from the perspective of
liberty, with a thousand small last-mile providers, some of which will
hopefully be owned by cities/counties/states and some of which would
hopefully be privately-operated.  It's a lot harder to coerce (or just
ask) a thousand small access providers to block some "objectionable"
or "dangerous" content or activity without getting caught than it is
to do the same if there are only a handful of access providers.

Since there is no "liberty" advantage, in the real world, to a system
where AT&T controls the last-mile or states, counties, or private
contractors control same, I would choose the one most likely to create
a competitive business environment.  We already know that homes
without cable television and Internet service are less valuable than
homes which have access to these services.  I hope that communities
would develop and maintain the best last-mile networks they can in
order to attract businesses and residents with the most money to
spend, and the most to contribute to their tax bases, job market, and
skilled labor pool.

In an ideal world, I could agree with you.  But you don't need a
tin-foil hat anymore to be absolutely certain that big brother has
over-stepped his bounds and will continue to do so even in an
environment where private businesses *could* be an obstacle.  Guess
what, they aren't.

Jeff S Wheeler <jsw at>
Sr Network Operator  /  Innovative Network Concepts

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