Monday, February 22, 2016

Curb your enthusiasm: Google Fiber won't likely serve "thousands" of municipalities

Google To Use City-Owned Network To Bring Fiber To Huntsville 02/22/2016: This private-public model for broadband could spread far beyond Huntsville, according to muni-broadband proponent Christopher Mitchell, director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community Broadband Networks Initiative."In many ways, I think this is a tremendously hopeful development," Mitchell tells MediaPost. "It gives cities a great confidence that if they build passive infrastructure, they will be able to work with ISPs."

Mitchell adds that many of the municipal officials he has spoken with recently have said they're willing to build fiber networks, but not provide broadband or telephone services. He adds that he expects a few other cities cities to follow Huntsville's lead in the next one to two years, and that "thousands" of municipalities could ultimately do so.

Thousands? Unlikely. Few local governments have the existing utility infrastructure or financial resources to build fiber to the premise networks serving their residents as they continue to recover from the 2008 economic collapse and face competing demands for other infrastructure such as roads and sewer systems and public pension obligations.

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