More on Monticello

Thanks to Christopher Mitchell for sending me his editorial on the recent lawsuit in Monticello. (I posted an article on the story a week or so ago.)

I couldn’t agree more with Christopher’s comments. In short, the lawsuit brought about by TDS is unfounded and a waste of time and money.

The more I think about the situation the more annoyed I become because the money they’re wasting is taxpayer money. We all have those friends (well I do anyways) who seem to work so hard at not working. And you wonder why they don’t just spend ten percent of that energy on getting or keeping a job – so that maybe they could buy a round for once. Well, that’s how I’m starting to feel about some incumbents. Instead of coming up with every plan under the sun for not providing ultra fast broadband – why in the heck don’t they just consider providing it?

The other annoying aspect is that these unfounded lawsuits take the focus away from the real goal – getting better connections to recover our position in the global economy. It feels like fighting over the last chair on the Titanic. While in America we’re fighting turf wars over who if anyone is going to provide world class broadband, other countries are coming up with broadband strategies that will leave us in the dust.

So there’s my two cents to go along with Christopher’s two cents. I think my passion for the topic comes at the end of my long stay in Dublin. I have been here since August and we’re going home in a few weeks. It’s been interesting to see how differently things are done here. The focus for the future seems to be more focused on how Ireland can be better and less on maintaining the market status quo.

(That being said, some incumbents are great and I’d be happy to hear from those who are building a successful business by providing ultra fast services and/or are working towards that goal.)

This entry was posted in Community Networks, Get Broadband, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

1 thought on “More on Monticello

  1. TDS’ lawsuit against the City of Monticello should not be a surprise to anyone engaged in community broadband activity. It is disappointing for a number of reasons. The City of Monticello has been pursuing its goal of world-class telecommunications infrastructure and services for several years. As with almost every community, their first call was to their incumbent providers. In Monticello, and generally elsewhere, those calls are rebuffed with typical answers of “You don’t need that, our present services meet all needs, we do not want to partner with you.” Now with the City ready to proceed with its network, TDS sues the City and pulls permits to build its own FTTP network. If TDS had been willing to work with the City two years ago, who knows what kind of productive partnership might have been formed.

    As the lawsuit proceeds, other questions arise:
    1) If the City wins the lawsuit and proceeds on its project, will TDS rebuild its network and compete aggressively? If so, what does that do to the financial feasibility of either network?

    2) If TDS wins the lawsuit and stops the City from building its network, will TDS follow through and actually construct their network or will those plans be delayed. Will other community questions of affordability and customer service be addressed?

    3) If TDS now builds a FTTP network in Monticello, what have they taught community leaders in their own and other providers’ franchise areas?

    This is actually the easiest question to answer – community leaders recognize that the only way to force improvements is to threaten to build their own networks. Rather than investigate win-win solutions and act in good faith as a community partner, providers are forcing communities to invest limited community resources pursuing their own solutions.

    I applaud those telecom providers who are willing to listen to community concerns and truly consider partnerships as a viable path for more FTTP investment in Minnesota.

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