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Ars Technica: AT&T throws a hissy fit over municipal fiber

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 11:24 -- Eva Prkachin

Yet again, Big Telecom is trying to get in the way of communities that want to build their own high-speed Internet. That makes me hopping mad, how about you?

Article by Jon Brodkin for ArsTechnica

A city in Kansas that plans to expand a fiber broadband network to serve all residents and businesses has to explain itself to local DSL provider AT&T.

Chanute, Kansas, a city of 9,000 residents, needs state permission to issue bonds needed to finance the expansion of its fiber network, which was built to support utility operations and now also serves government facilities, a college, a library, a hospital, and a few business partners. Chanute requested approval to issue the bonds on October 21, saying the expansion would let it offer “Gigabit connectivity to potentially all of Chanute's utility customers.” Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, the AT&T subsidiary, promptly asked the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) for permission to “intervene” in the proceeding, saying the company’s “interests and those of its customers may be affected” by the plan.

AT&T’s petition was approved yesterday. (See the approval letter here.) But Chanute officials are confident their fiber expansion won’t be stopped. “AT&T intervention at this time is just a process. We are not expecting any issues,” Chanute Director of Utilities Larry Gates told Ars.

- Read more at ArsTechnica