Telecoms Are Trying to Prohibit City-Run Broadband Access

Episode 1114 (04:08)

Autumn small town America

There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.

In 130 cities around the country, local governments have responded by creating internet service as a utility in that city. They can then open the lines to many providers who can compete. Of those 130 cities, 89 have gigabit speeds. In almost every case, the city internet is much faster than the internet provided by commercial companies.

However, in 20 states AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have succeeded in getting bills passed in the legislatures banning civil internet on the grounds that the city shouldn't be competing with commercial entities. But in places where the commercial entity isn't serving the city well, the city perhaps should have the right to step in. It improves its economic situation and makes it more desirable for employees, businesses, and getting more people to move there.