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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


South Dundas, Ontario: "Jobs follow broadband to Canadian town"

From an article the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot-News:

"A small, rural township in Ontario, Canada, has seen demonstrable economic benefits in the two years since it launched its own fiber-optic and wireless network to provide local businesses with reasonably priced broadband Internet service, a study has concluded."

"South Dundas Twp., 66 miles south of Ottawa, the nation's capital, has a population of about 13,000."

"The study by Strategic Networks Group of Ottawa, on behalf of the British Department of Trade and Industry, found that South Dundas Twp.'s total cost to build and maintain the network of $975,000 in U.S. dollars yielded 62.5 new jobs, $2.1 million in commercial and industrial expansion and $105,000 in increased revenues or reduced costs, all of which were directly attributable to the new broadband network. In addition, the economic model used by the study predicted that Dundas County would see an increase in gross domestic product of $18.9 million during the next two to four years. Ontario provincial tax revenues will rise by $2.63 million, while national tax revenues will rise by $3.38 million -- again in U.S. dollars."

A South Dundas-type economic expansion won't happen in Pennsylvania if proposed anti-muni legislation passes

The article about the new jobs created in South Dundas, ON by the township's municipal fiber network goes on to point out this could never happen in Pennsylvania if proposed legislation to block municipal fiber networks passes:

"What South Dundas Twp. did -- build its own fiber-optic and wireless network -- might be banned by law in Pennsylvania if the Pennsylvania Telephone Association bill, HB 30, to reauthorize the state's Chapter 30 legislation is enacted in its current form. The cable TV industry, which is supporting the bill, is particularly vehement about public competition, pointing to the state-of-the-art telecommunications system built by Kutztown."

(Link from Casey Lide at the Baller Herbst Law Group via their mailing list)


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