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There's more to municipal broadband than public funding, says report

Grant Gross | July 22, 2015
U.S. communities looking for faster broadband service than incumbent ISPs provide have alternatives to the increasingly controversial choice of seeking to publicly fund a network, according to a new handbook for city officials.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission stepped into the fray in February, when it voted to overturn large parts of two state laws that limit local governments from funding and building broadband networks. That decision faces potential legal and congressional challenges.

Public funding for broadband networks is a legitimate option, said Gig.U's Levin, primary author of the FCC's national broadband plan released in 2010. But communities should decide for themselves what direction to take, he said.

"Nearly every community we worked with saw public money as a last resort, when no other options for next generation networks were available," he said. "But our group view was that the decision should be made by the local community."

 

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