More reporting here from the Center for Public Integrity of the superiority of municipally supplied broadband in Tennesse cities — fast and cheap. The coverage includes a handy interactive map for ready comparison.
Think there might be a lesson for this in Arkansas where a debate rages on setting up a state system to supply broadband to public schools? (No support for this argument comes from the current state Department of Information Services, however. It’s way more expensive.)
Ironies abound in this debate. In Arkansas, Walton retail chain money is being spent to lobby for government’s ability to supply broadband to schools better than private enterprise. Tennessee, which has made great advances (and in Chattanooga received a tremendous economic boon from the service), is about as reflexively Republican as they come, the kind of place where politicians normally want government to get out of the way so businesses can do their jobs and gouge consumers.
PS — An advocate for private telcom says the government option doesn’t always work out so well. See this story from Utah.