OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

Motherboard: 6 tactics to watch for in the fight for municipal Internet

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 15:54 -- Eva Prkachin

Six tricks cable companies play to try to prevent cities from building their own broadband networks. The second is actually pretty hilarious.

Article by Jason Koebler for Motherboard

The stranglehold that big telecom companies have managed to get on the nation's broadband infrastructure is no mistake—beyond merely staying out of each other's hair in many big cities, ISPs have managed to throw up legal, logistical, and financial roadblocks at every turn to prevent municipally owned fiber networks from taking hold in many parts of the country.

By now, big telecom's competition-killing tactics have been integrated into its well-oiled machine, but the some of the strategies are insidious, under-the-radar, and don't even involve the well-reported lobbying money that flows from national corporations into political coffers (though that certainly helps).

In many cases, locally owned fiber networks are cheaper, faster, have better customer service, and higher satisfaction rates than the so called "incumbents" (that's Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, etc). But still, community networks aren't common—which is often because of specific tactics used by telecom giants to make it difficult, illegal, or expensive to start them.

- Read more at Motherboard