Minneapolis, MN—(June 3, 2009). A new analysis by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) finds that publicly owned broadband networks may offer customers a much better deal than private networks. The data, available on ILSR’s newly launched web site, MuniNetworks.org shows that “Community broadband networks are some of the fastest, most affordable networks in the United Sates, bar none,” says Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative at ILSR. “While the U.S. as a whole is falling behind other countries, some of our communities have taken it upon themselves to remain competitive.”
According to Mitchell, two communities stand out: Lafayette Louisiana and Wilson, North Carolina. Lafayette’s slowest tier offers a relatively blazing 10Mbps symmetrical connection for $28.95/month. Wilson charges $34.95 for the same connection. Comcast and Verizon’s FiOS both offer the same downstream but slower upstream connection at a much higher monthly cost: $42.95 and $44.95 respectively.
Community broadband’s advantage often goes beyond speed, says Mitchell. “Many of these communities used to pay much more for considerably slower speeds. They may go from paying $700 for a 1.5Mbps connection to paying $300 for a 100Mbps connection. The savings are real.”
Mitchell, a nationally recognized telecommunications expert is a frequent visitor to publicly owned networks. MuniNetworks.org will tell their stories as well as provide access to research and offer original commentary and news highlights about the past, present, and future of publicly owned telecommunications.