Is cheap broadband un-American?

Here is an excellent article [link no longer available] on how the telcos are strangling communities and denying them the economic development benefits that come from affordable broadband.

Some community broadband projects have now been around long enough for useful data to emerge. This article cites the St. Cloud, Florida effort, where local officials are saving residents and businesses millions of dollars on broadband. The officials there correctly note that that money, instead of being shipped out of the community and usually out of state, is now freed up and being put to work within St. Cloud--an enormous economic development benefit.

Here is the last paragraph of the article, which sums up the current situation:

These corporations say that they’re shutting down homegrown broadband efforts to safeguard the best interests of American free enterprise. But, as Dianah Neff, Philadelphia’s chief technology officer, asked in a recent column for ZDNet: “When was the last time they were elected to determine what is best for our communities? If they’re really concerned about what is important to all members of the community, why haven’t they built this type of network that meets community needs or approached a city to use their assets to build a high-speed, low-cost, ubiquitous network?”

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