A growing number of cities and municipalities in the US have been looking to implement municipal networks to offer internet services at higher rates of access, and lower costs, than the giant telecoms that provide internet access to the vast majority of US customers.
Such networks would be well positioned to support net neutrality and a full implementation of internet services, from mom and pop on up.
Some states have passed laws to limit or block cities from doing that. A recent appeals court ruling upheld the legality of such laws. It remains to be seen whether this issue would make it’s way to the SCOTUS, and if so what would be the resolution. Elections this year could also have an impact on whether cities will be allowed to implement municipal networks, or not.
Not surprisingly giant telecoms have lobbied fiercely to avoid competition in many markets where there are few alternatives to their service, if any. Las Cruces is one municipality that has explored municipal networks in the past, and had to confront the reality of powerful forces standing in their way, in addition to the costliness of the venture.
Costs have come down, and a FTTH/ wireless hybrid might well be a suitable implementation under CLC auspices sometime in the future to lower internet access costs, and support broader menu of online services.