But Wait, Wasn't Muni-Fiber Supposed To Take Away Incentive For Private Fiber?

from the caught-in-a-lie dept

Over the past few years, there have been numerous lawsuits by telcos against various municipalities that have decided to launch municipal fiber broadband projects. Most of these lawsuits have failed -- but the main argument from the telcos is that it's unfair to have to compete against the government, and it would take away incentives for the telcos to actually invest in infrastructure to provide for those towns. Of course, that doesn't make much sense. That would mean that any competition would decrease incentives to invest. One of the nastier legal battles took place in Monticello, Minnesota, where the local telco TDS fought hard (and lost) its battle to stop muni-fiber from showing up. But, now, suddenly TDS is announcing its own fiber broadband, giving people 50 Mbps service for $50/month. What's the likelihood that TDS would have done this if it didn't have competition from muni-fiber? The reason municipalities look to muni-fiber is because there isn't enough competition and the telcos aren't investing in infrastructure (or really serving customer needs). So the end result here is that by introducing more competition, consumers and citizens are better served. So what's the problem with it again?

Filed Under: broadband, competition, muni-fiber
Companies: tds


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2009 @ 8:02pm

    I'm not at all at easy with government owned enterprise, because I feel that once you have interests and you are responsible to regulate those things it will generally lead to bad places. But I do feel that community owned infra-structure is a way to go, it doesn't need to be the municipality they should regulate and keep an eye on things.

    Still, competition is good and Monticello just proved that. It is too bad that we hear so little about those types of things.

    ps: If you had a company and was in charge of making the rules would you let other in? That is the peril with state sponsored initiatives it may not happen but the potential to abuse is there, that is why people in the past made rules about competition from the government. But if the players in the field are not up to the task and people cannot do it because laws don't allow common people to organize then the government should do something :)

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