Last week. Chris Mitchell featured ALP Utilities on the MuniNetwork Podcast. ALP Utilities is a city-owned municipal utility. They provide broadband and electricity. They have been providing broadband (or Internet) for 20 years. It’s an interesting talk about how and why they got involved with broadband when the incumbent providers showed no interest in doing so. Here’s the description from the site…
When the cable and telephone companies refused to offer dial-up Internet service 20 years ago in Alexandria, Minnesota, the municipal utility stepped up and made it available. For years, most everyone in the region used it to get online. Now, the utility has focused its telecommunications attention on making fiber-optic telecommunications services available to local businesses.
Alexandria’s ALP Utilities General Manager Al Crowser joins us this week to explain what they have done and why. Like us, Al is a strong believer that local governments can be the best provider of essential services to local businesses and residents.
In the show, we talk some history and also about the difference between local customer service and that from a larger, more distant company. He discusses how they have paid for the network and where net income goes. And finally, we talk about their undergrounding project.
I think the discussion on own versus lease as a municipality is particularly interesting.