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This (1) would not happen; (2) would be awful. Utilities and infrastructure are state and local issues. The states and cities that would build public broadband infrastructure are in dire financial straits and can't afford it. You invoke "government handouts," but for decades the government has been loathe to get into the business of building broadband. All the "handouts" you hear about are intra-industry transfer payments: a special tax is levied on telecom service in urban areas to subsidize telecom service in rural areas. It doesn't cost the government anything, it just moves money from mostly urban ISPs to mostly rural ISPs.

Even if there was the money for it, you wouldn't want it. Public Internet in the U.S. does not look like "fiber for everyone." Instead, it would be 25 mbps DSL for everyone. It would be that way for the same reason we build six-lane highways to far-flung exurbs while public transit in urban areas decays, and why we continue to use lead-piped water systems in order to keep water rates extremely low. Our political situation tilts things heavily toward favoring coverage over quality.

Over the last 10 years, my private-sector broadband speeds have gotten 10 times faster, even as bandwidth usage exploded. But my public-sector subway ride has gotten slower (and more jerky when they turned off automation), even as ridership went down. It seems absolutely insane to me that anyone would want to put the people responsible for the latter in charge of the former.

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