Net Neutrality is just for starters: municipal networks are the path to paradise

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One of the rare occasions where there is a good headline about the state I live in! Time Warner already spent millions trying to make it impossible for smaller ISPs, I like the idea of municipal broadband, there’s a generally cranky attitude towards government down here. I wonder how it will turn out.

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Austin was supposed to do this, around 2000 or so. The electric utility is city-owned, so they were going to install a fiber network all over town to enable remote meter reading. Someone realized that such a network could be used to bring high-speed internet to the entire city. The next thing I heard about it was…

…nothing. Didn’t hear anything. (Then I moved)


Compare to Monticello, MN:

They had the shittiest service imaginable from the local telco and begged for better service for years. Nothing improved so the town decided to build municipal fiber. Said shitty telco sues the town, delaying roll out for a year while they suddenly have the customer service-driven inspiration to build their own fiber. In the meantime, Charter comes in with half-price deals compared to similar towns so as to undercut everyone. The town fiber company now operates at a loss. The only thing telcos and cable companies hate more than competition is municipal internet.


Right? Of course our brilliant state government immediately drafted legislation to make sure that no other town could legally copy Wilson…

We’ve got a great municipal provider in Monmouth Oregon and Independence Oregon (adjacent cities). Through MINET (, I get a fat pipe to the internet via a tiny thread of glass, and could also get cable TV if I wanted it. Speeds are great, rates are reasonable, they’re VERY local, and they also sent a Cease and Desist to Charter about deceptive advertising ( I feel about as supported and protected by my ISP as I could be.


Once again I want to plug Chattanooga’s Gig City: built to provide a smartnet for their electric service, and ended up being blazingly fast internet for everyone else.


Let’s see…

First, the local government sets up a monopoly and then you trust them to run an ISP?

If a municipal ISP can work at all (i.e, not simply be a way to hand out favors), it probably isn’t necessary.

Examples abound.



Well, if the municipal government gets into serious fuckery we can go chuck rocks through mayors windows to register our disapproval. OTOH, do you even know where Brian Roberts resides? Even if we make it past the ex-Mossad bodyguards and scale the fence, we’d just be Rottweiler food. All that and the bastard was probably at one of his hundred other homes.

(LSS- it’s easier by orders of magnitude to hold municipal government accountable than giant corporations)


FWIW here is a link to the city Broadband page:

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Yep, I say turn everything into cooperatives where you can. Utility, grocery, employer, etc. Basically, it’s diet mutualism/syndicalism. It’s a great way to show people you can be anti-capitalist even if you’re surrounded by capitalism.

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