Muni Fiber and Politics

William Herrin bill at
Mon Jul 21 18:38:47 UTC 2014

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM, Jay Ashworth <jra at> wrote:
> Over the last decade, 19 states have made it illegal for municipalities
> to own fiber networks

Hi Jay,

Everything government does, it does badly. Without exception. There
are many things government does better than any private organization
is likely to sustain, but even those things it does slowly and at an
exorbitant price.

Muni fiber is a competition killer. You can't beat city hall; once
built it's not practical to compete, even with better service, so
residents are stuck with only the overpriced (either directly or via
taxes), usually underpowered and always one-size-fits-all network
access which results. As an ISP I watched something similar happen in
Altoona PA a decade and a half ago. It was a travesty.

The only exception I see to this would be if localities were
constrained to providing point to point and point to multipoint
communications infrastructure within the locality on a reasonable and
non-discriminatory basis. The competition that would foster on the
services side might outweigh the damage on the infrastructure side.
Like public roads facilitate efficient transportation and freight
despite the cost and potholes, though that's an imperfect simile.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
Owner, Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <>
Can I solve your unusual networking challenges?

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