How can I get my local municipality to build its own broadband infrastructure?

Episode 1087 (1:33:35)

Bob from Walnut Creek, CA

Leo thinks this could be the best answer to the open internet issue with the FCC. If communities create their own internet, it ends the conversation because it is a municipal utility like water or electricity. One way communities could make this financially viable is to ask commercial providers to provide service on top of their infrastructure. It could also encourage competition among providers. It's a great idea, but it's hard to convince municipalities to do it.

Communities have a deal with the cable company, where the community gives the company a franchise for a certain amount of time, and that time period in many places is running out. So it makes sense for these places to look for alternatives. It's very difficult to get local governments to do this. It's a scary thing for them to do, and it would rely on politicians making unpopular decisions such as using eminent domain to take over existing internet plants.

Leo suggests starting with muninetworks.org. It is exactly about how to get a community network created. There are resources for every business and every town to do this. It talks about other municipalities who have done this successfully, which is important to show to his local municipality.