Maybe there is a role for government in broadband deployment

Last night I wrote about an editorial from the Freedom Foundation in the Minneapolis Star Tribune saying that government should not get involved with providing broadband. It seems that the editorial has sparked a discussion. Yesterday there was a rebuttal to the editorial from someone on the frontlines…

But let’s put the politics aside and ask ourselves how we’re doing with CenturyLink or Xfinity. How’s monopoly business practice treating you? And how’s it compare to what you saw in South Korea, Denmark or Scotland? Koreans talk about our internet as “a trip to the country,” finding it crude and slow. Which it is. Fiber-optic cables stretch across the wild moors of Scotland where there are more sheep than people. And we’ve got DSL. If we’re lucky.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a place for government helping the people, and not asking whether it “pays for itself.” Are your roads paying for themselves? How about those sidewalks? The fire department? The police officers? It’s a brave experiment when the government of the people tries to provide internet for the people. Of course it may fail. It’s going up against The Big Guys, and a web of think tanks and propaganda writers hard at work protecting their freedom to charge you all they want.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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