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How do you know when a public or community broadband project presents a serious threat to telco and cable incumbent providers? The flood of lies, half-truths and outlandish distortion of relevant issues. The only cure for the dark clouds that opponents try to cast over public-owned networks is to shine the bright light of fact-checked truth over errant anti-muni network statements.
In Utah, a group of cities in the UTOPIA fiber project are evaluating a potential deal with infrastructure-building giant Macquarie that plans to build a strong pro-community network. Longmont, CO passed a second referendum measure last November that paved the way for the city to accelerate deployment of its muni-owned network. FreeUTOPIA Editor Jesse Harris and City of Longmont Asst. City Manager Sandi Seader dissect the most persistent of the mischaracterizations of community broadband.
Beginning with the charge that "all muni networks are failures, and working through such gems as "municipal networks will cause firefighters and police officers to lose their job" and "these networks are unfair competition" to giant telcos, Harris and Seader set the record straight. The discussion presents facts and details community broadband project teams need to hear so they can better assess their business model options, be prepared for the inevitable pushback they face from incumbents and astroturf groups.