More Anti-Muni Reports From Thinktanks?

from the they're-everywhere..... dept

It looks like the folks at various existing broadband companies are really freaking out about all this muni broadband activity and are kicking up as much FUD activity as possible. Last week there was all the talk about how eeeeevil muni broadband is (that was, of course, paid for by incumbent broadband money), and now comes the rumors that the folks at Cato are coming out with a similar report. The rumor is a bit short on details, but basically says that the report will trash muni efforts, noting that private competition is enough. Of course, if private competition was enough, then there would be no reason at all to do muni broadband, so that seems to negate that point simply on the face of it (and should be evidence enough for a “market” focused think tank like Cato — the government is part of this market too, after all). As we all know, governments can be monumentally inefficient — and it’s likely that many muni broadband projects are ill-conceived or poorly implemented. That doesn’t however, mean the concept doesn’t make sense in the right circumstances. If it’s done right, with more of a focus on the government paving the path so that anyone (not just the incumbents, or, worse, just the government) can offer true broadband service, then it seems to make a lot of sense.

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Comments on “More Anti-Muni Reports From Thinktanks?”

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Howard Candisbee says:

Let freedom reign.

the government is part of this market too, after all

Um, no its not, at least by Cato’s (and my own) definition.

“The market” is short for “the free market”, i.e. and participants are willingly taking part – not being coreced to participate, as is what happens which government apply their compulsory powers of taxation.

As much I would like other rate payers to pay for my wifi connection, it not fair for me to insist on, or even to vote for, a situation where non users have to pay for my use of the web.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Let freedom reign.

Hmm. If the government is buying goods and services from the market, they’re part of the market too… Sorry, it’s a fact.

Anyway, if you read this site, you know we’re pretty big free market believers here as well, but ignoring the fact that there is a gov’t is simply head-in-sand thinking, and not recognizing the realities of the market that does, indeed, exist.

As a hypothetical… let’s say muni broadband can be done by the gov’t and it, in turn, helps increase business in an area that benefits everyone, why would you be against that?

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