Utilities Providing Cheap Broadband
from the oooh.--time-to-move dept
With all the back and forth over whether or not the FCC is going to let the big telecom companies shut their networks off from competitors, here’s another story that seems to have crept up under the radar. It seems that more and more municipally (publicly) owned utility companies are starting to offer cheap high speed internet access to their residents. This is the strategy that the newly re-launched Ricochet is working on. They want municipalities to offer inexpensive wireless access to their citizens. The telecom companies are furious at this “unfair” competition, saying that since the utilities don’t need to make a profit, they can offer things at cost – killing the incentive of the telecoms to offer internet access. Of course, that’s a pretty short-sighted view of things. Since this is the telecoms’ own business, you would think they could build additional features and services that made the “premium” worthwhile. They’re just too lazy to have to offer a better service. Meanwhile, the municipalities say that this is a way to keep money in the community, rather than having it go to some large firm that isn’t based in their cities.