Muni Fiber and Politics

Scott Helms khelms at
Mon Jul 21 19:01:30 UTC 2014


I've certainly seen poor execution from public operators, but I have also
seen several that were well run and over the course of years (in one case
decades).  They're not right in all cases, but to simply say it can't be
done well is false.  Now, we do have to be sensitive to public <--> private
competition but in cases where there is already a monopoly or even worse no
broadband service I can't see how keeping muni's out helps consumers.

Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
(678) 507-5000

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 2:38 PM, William Herrin <bill at> wrote:

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

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