Terrified of real broadband competition, the telecom industry has written laws restricting community rights to provide internet. A new report has found that 26 states now either restrict or totally ban communities from building their own internet service providers.
Community owned and operated networks offer lower prices, faster speeds, and better service than their corporate competition. These networks are already a reality in hundreds of communities, usually providing internet access to communities that cable companies neglect to serve.
The cable and telecommunications industry have long lobbied against community controlled broadband, arguing that communities should not be allowed to fund their own broadband because it would be serious competition for corporations. Instead of competing by offering better service, telecom giants routinely turn to a cheaper alternative: easily corrupted state politicians.
The laws are written by the telecommunication corporations themselves, and in some instances laws ban towns and cities from building their own networks, even if the local internet providers refuses to actually provide service to those communities.