Success in public-owned broadband: It’s about Main St., not Wall St.

Forget the myth. Just the facts, ma’am – Craig Settles,Gigaom

  • The first goal of many networks is to reduce operating costs for municipalities and public utilities.
  • Retaining communities’ major employers and attracting new employers is the first or second goal for these networks.
  • Most communities report success in meeting one or both goals, thus justifying the networks’ costs.
  • Networks built with the initial goal of meeting municipal or utility broadband needs draw from capital funds or bond measures that minimize risk to taxpayers
  • Quite a few networks, such as those in Santa Monica and Burbank, California; Danville, Virginia; and Mount Vernon, Washington, make a gross profit on their networks even with just four to six new business subscribers a month.
  • Cities typically carry debt for infrastructure projects that impact the public good. Broadband projects carrying 20- or 25-year debt obligations that are being repaid on schedule while delivering a public good are successful projects

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