It feels like déjà vu – last week I reported on Chris Mitchell reporting on the lcoal provider in Sibley County discouraging a community-supported fiber network. Today I’m reporting on Christ Mitchell’s latest report that Mediacom (the local provider) sent letters to folks in Silver Bay and Two Harbors warning them of the dangers of the Lake County community-supported fiber network, which received ARRA funding.
Chris has a copy of two letters: one from Mediacom complaining about a clause of the joint powers ordiance and the other is from the Special Assistant Lake County Attorney clearing up a misconception of the letter from Mediacom. You can see the letters on Chris’ web site. He has one line that really sums up the gist of the transactions….
Interestingly, rather than sticking to the normal fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) campaign, Mediacom apparently based its threats on a draft of the joint powers ordinance rather than the language actually passed by the resolutions. Whoops.
VP of Mediacom Tom Larsen challenged me on that line you quote, arguing that Mediacom’s objections stands. He sent me a copy of the JPA he has and I have asked the County for the most current version so I can post both to the site for people to evaluate on their own.
I continue to believe that communities even with the most up-to-date cable networks (which neither Two Harbors nor Silver Bay has the last time I checked) are smart to consider building full fiber-optic networks. The reliability is better, speeds are considerably faster (much closer to what is advertised than cable and DSL) and perhaps more importantly – a community owned network fundamentally changes a monopoly or duopoly market. Check in on Monticello to see better broadband deals than you can find anywhere else.
Even if Mediacom’s letter were based on the final JPA, I think it rings hollow still.
More than anything I’m an advocate of transparency and access to info. With transparency and good information, folks can make informed decisions. So I hope you get those letters.
But I think some of other info we can provide (such as the practical difference between cable and fiber or commercial vs community provider) can also help people make the decisions that best suit their needs.
My story is updated with the proper language and links to the relevant documents. Unfortunately the quote above in this story is no longer accurate. My apologies.
Thanks for the update!