Muni network ownership and the Fourth

John Levine johnl at
Wed Jan 30 22:03:00 UTC 2013

>The other thing I find interesting about this entire thread is the
>assumption by most that a government entity would do a good job as a
>layer-1 or -2 provider and would be more efficient than a private company.
>Governments, including municipalities, are notorious for corruption, fraud,
>waste - you name it. Even when government bids out projects to the private
>sector these problems are seen.

I live in a part of the world where we have both muni and private
power companies, and muni water departments and muni water companies,
and I just have to laugh at this doctrinaire rant.

The muni power companies around here provide service every bit as good
as NYSEG, the private power company, at literally half the price.
They do this by not wasting time and money on financial shenanigans
and boondoggle projects, and by being managed by local people who
understand the issues rather than by corporate bureaucrats in Spain
who think it's clever to save money by not trimming tree limbs that
predictably take out power lines as soon as it snows.

My opinion about muni water is biased, since I used to be the
municipal water commissioner, but I think we do an excellent job and
charge rates that cover our costs, not someone else's dividend.


PS: "We don't have that problem in Spain!" 
    "You don't have snow in Spain."
    "We don't have that problem in Scotland!"
    "You don't have trees in Scotland."

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