Muni Fiber and Politics

Blake Dunlap ikiris at
Mon Jul 21 19:08:26 UTC 2014

My power is pretty much always on, my water is pretty much always on
and safe, my sewer system works, etc etc...

Why is layer 1 internet magically different from every other utility?


On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:38 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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