The quiet excellent news of the 2020 elections: Municipal broadband is increasing

Christopher Mitchell, director of group broadband networks for the Institute for Native Self-Reliance, instructed Vice that these votes are instructive. “I feel the margin in Chicago and Denver is outstanding,” Mitchell mentioned. “Once we work with communities the place half the residents have a cable monopoly and the opposite half have no broadband, the demand for one thing higher is robust amongst each populations.” Mitchell’s group says that 83 million People dwell in an space topic to a broadband monopoly, with Comcast being the same old wrongdoer. That is on high of the estimated 42 million who don’t have any broadband entry in any respect and the tens of hundreds of thousands who solely have two decisions, the place once more Comcast dominates. “For years, now we have mentioned it is a main concern for voters however native leaders stay too intimidated by the massive monopoly cable and phone corporations to behave on it,” Mitchell mentioned. “Perhaps now we’ll see it taken extra significantly.”

This might be the tipping level, although in 22 states it is going to require repealing these ALEC-inspired municipal broadband bans. It will possibly occur—two years in the past 25 states had the bans. In accordance with a Broadband Now research, customers in states with out these bans “towards municipal broadband have, on common, 10% better entry to low-price broadband (which we classify as any standalone web plan $60 per 30 days or much less).”

Arkansas and Connecticut have lifted restrictions on municipal broadband, and Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington State have taken current legislative motion that is municipal broadband-friendly. Breaking huge telecom’s very costly stranglehold on the nation is feasible, and a wise factor to begin getting on native ballots.

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