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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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Monday, December 15, 2003


Wisconsin legislators considering whether to kill or encourage municipal broadband projects

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports on the Wisconsin legislature's ongoing debates over whether to kill or encourage municipal broadband development in small towns across the state. One possible compromise would be to require such systems be open access systems.

As I've noted before, while requiring open access schemes for municipal broadband systems is intellectually appealing, such mandates complicate launching municipal systems in small towns. Even the massive UTOPIA FTTH (fiber to the home) project in Utah may have to grant a temporary monopoly to just one provider, initially.

Ironically, these open access requirements for municipal broadband systems are often inserted into state legislation as poison pills by the same cable TV and Bell lobbyists that zealously oppose efforts to open up their own networks.


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