Cover story

Public broadband? No thanks!

Government wants to turn broadband into a municipal service to cut prices. Detractors aren't so sure it should or could. 

10 June 2009

Several big-city municipalities are forging ahead with public broadband projects, designed to provide low-cost infrastructure to anyone who wants to buy access. 

Proponents say this will help bring down bandwidth costs and make it available to previously under-served communities, among other benefits. Not everyone is convinced, however. Critics say if government wanted to reduce prices, it should permit and encourage competition, that it is taking on too much by building public infrastructure, that the grand plans are nothing more than vapourware, and that nobody has got it right except one small town.

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