Probably also colored with people's perceptions of how sticky "bundles" they already have for TV and phone are, how they would get their cable channels, etc.
I have Verizon Fios. The day-to-day service is fine and I get roughly what I pay for (200/200 for $39/month with an option to go quite a bit faster if I want to pay more).
But, I'd love to have some competition and downward price pressure. Don't much care if it's municipal or private, I just want an option.
And I live in a wealthy suburb and realize lots of people don't even have one good option. Heck, even within my zip, Fios isn't 100% available and the cable internet providers are universally awful.
I personally have gigabit up/down for $70/mo, but I would happily slash my rates to 200/200 for 50% off or so. However, I wouldn't want to go below 100 up/down for any amount of savings since at some point you're actually hurting download speeds for OS/game updates and 4k video.
Where in the US do you live? My only experience with Fios was in NYC, and the lowest rates I've seen there are around 60-70.
Most neighborhoods that have Fios also have a cable internet provider, so there’s a little competition. But, not everywhere has Fios.
If you believe that we'll get legislation that enforces that municipal broadband must be a content-neutral dumb pipe and not every legislature trying to stick their hands in it for all sorts of random initiatives then I have 7 perpendicular red lines I want to show you.
It's usually a city government, right? People generally seem to have more concerns with Federal, State, or County level governments. Not to say it isn't a concern, but cities seem less likely to engage in that sort of thing.
Surveys like these don't carry any useful information other than whether people who what municipal broadband is and their general view of government provided services.
It bothers me that it's only available in the fancier (whiter) parts of the city, but I have no complaints about the service or price.
Maybe they've had bad experiences dealing with other municipal services from their city.
Or maybe they just think the act of switching will be a pain in the butt.
I can imagine many of the answers boil down to "yes, give me anything but X" or "it's good enough please don't break it"
In my childhood hometown they have muni internet. It started out great as it was cutting edge. They have barely upgraded in over a decade. It's crap and the cable company in town has largely won.
I also don't want the government tracking my internet history in any fashion. Too many government services could tie into knowledge about you and I want the government to have only the minimum information necessary to provide those services.
Fine, but MANY are. In the past 5 years I've lived in two of America's biggest cities and only had one ISP to choose from.
> I also don't want the government tracking my internet history in any fashion. Too many government services could tie into knowledge about you and I want the government to have only the minimum information necessary to provide those services.
As if the government can't/doesn't already subpoena your ISP for this information.
The government already can compel your ISP to hand over that data.
In the case of municipal broadband, you could vote for local politicians that are against dragnet surveillance.
Also, paradoxically, the 4th prevents the government from gathering data, but not purchasing it. In the case of municipal broadband, there is a strong argument to be made that you are constitutionally protected against invasive privacy policies, such as logging or selling personal information.
I'm not really surprised by this. In my old building, out of 6 units I was the only to get fiber and after a few years someone new moved in they were up to two people. I know for a fact 2 other units were work from home business sales folk who did regular video calls (even before covid) and they continued with comcast despite slower up/down at a higher price. In my new building again the same thing. This time 10 units, only myself and one other with fiber despite the same issues. Even with multiple household having a very compelling reason to switch (work from home and home schooling).
I asked an older neighbor in my old building why they hadn't switched and their response was that comcast was good enough for them, I explained it was also cheaper, they said they'd "look into it" and 3 years later still on comcast.
Even worse in condos (like in Toronto) where the condo board has signed an agreement with a provider and not allowing occupants any choice.
Huge shoutouts to Beanfield (Toronto) and Sonic (SF) for actually providing symmetric gigabit for cheaper than the incumbents with lower, asymmetric plans. If all companies were like them I wouldn't be advocating for municipal broadband.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unbundled_access
The fiber cable itself is enough a commodity that it can be structured (from a business perspective) more like roads or water lines.
This is actually how ISP’s worked at the dawn of home Internet in the US. There’s no way the incumbent monopolies would have given people access to raw TCP/IP if not for decentralized competition. (Look at Prodigy, AOL and Compuserve’s behavior for the decade prior for hard evidence). Historically, the phone company in the US could even block the usage of answering machines and modems. It took anti-trust action to eliminate those bans. We see the same thing today, with AT&T’s crappy FTTN routers, intentional cable modem buffer bloating, and the abomination that is IPTV cable service.
Last mile only competition eliminates all those things.
I don't think that means we shouldn't do it but it really does depend on citizens getting involved to lobby for an effective structure with real accountability and a viable economic model.
The above poster was talking about local government which has an incentive to establish local network effects and raise property values.
Flint was caused by the state of Michigan taking over their water management and ignoring warnings of what would happen.
It feels like states are much more beholden to telecommunications lobbies than the local areas. TN, despite Chattanooga being the poster child for municipal broadband, banned other cities from building their own networks. CO forces both the local government and the citizens later in an election to authorize local networks. WA just repealed their ban on municipal broadband networks.
I do not feel that a remote possibility of no-bid contracts is a reasonable concern over the current corrupt and no accountability of these large ISPs who lobby state governments to ban local networks. It is a lot easier to change local government than many state governments if a project goes wrong.
> The above poster was talking about local government which has an incentive to establish local network effects and raise property values.
Respectfully, this isn't a real distinction. The problem of people making decisions where they personally benefit from something which leaves the larger community worse off isn't specific to a level of government or the sector. I agree that the problems get worse at the state level (where money is focused) but that doesn't mean that it can't happen elsewhere.
I do agree that it's better to keep services local and really want to see municipal broadband (living in a city which has had tons of fiber deployed since the 2000s but hasn't made it available to individuals). My point was that we should go into this with our eyes open and make sure that there's good public visibility — the problem is a deal happening in the dark — and knowledgeable people make sure their elected representatives hear from someone who isn't selling things (whether that's services, equipment, etc.).
It would make sense if the exclusive non-overlapping regions were for maintenance contracts on common infrastucture, but it makes zero sense for last-mile.
Also a good way of allowing new technologies to enter a market. If the incumbents don't innovate, a newcomer will be given a corner to start.
My anecdata based on people I know is that no one gets TV anymore.
These days if you’re not into sports, there is really no need for live TV. You can mix and match streaming services.
Also, digital antennas can come in handy if the local channels provide the news and sports content that you could otherwise not get with Internet TV services.
I literally get junk (physical) mail twice a week from my ISP trying to sell me different thing. They are using every combination of "open immediately", postcards, odd shaped, odd colors, things that fall out of envelopes when you open them etc etc. The marketing campaign must have a monster budget.
Advertising lets people know that stuff exists and makes some things sexy (not so much broadband...). It doesn't render consumers incapable of considering alternatives.
The entire purpose of their marketing departments to delay that happening for as long as possible.
> "In a world of dumb terminals and telephones, networks had to be smart. But in a world of smart terminals, networks have to be dumb."
— George Gilder, The Coming of the Fibersphere, Forbes ASAP, December 7, 1992
> The Coming of the Fibersphere, Forbes ASAP, December 7, 1992
I haven’t had any outages in the year or so I’ve been here. Latency and packet loss are better than what I had with Comcast on average. There are no caps either.
I pay the same price here that I paid for 50mbps Comcast business class (business to avoid the data caps).
I also suspect the incumbents aren't troubled by competition in areas where they provide gigabit service with strong reliability but they will fight to the death to keep municipal broadband out of areas they hope to expand into.
Both of those assumptions, if accurate, would suggest network access is, at least secretly, perceived as a utility by both the providers and customers.
I could see a major increase in these municipal providers if that could somehow be an additional revenue driver. But I also imagine the existing players already lobbied a law to prevent that.
Ideally, broadband ISPs would just compete with eachother. But the infrastructure is expensive, so it seems most of them have unofficially agreed it's just not worth the cost to expand into eachothers' territory and compete for customers.
How did we get around this issue with the telephone grid and what's stopping us from doing the same with ISPs?
100% would be off the local cable company if my municipality offered anything similar speed what I have. While I've not had much in the way of bad experiences, it's mostly because they aren't Comcast level huge.
I'm not seeing that in the transcript. I'm seeing a story about corporations being so afraid of municipal broadband that they pay for laws to make it illegal.
> SAYRE: Christopher Yoo is a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in technology and the Internet. And in his spreadsheet is essentially the story of what happened to other cities that tried to do what Wilson, N.C., was trying to do - build and run their own fiber-optic network.
> cities tend to assume these fiber-optic networks will pay for themselves. They borrow millions and millions of dollars and are often screwed because one of a million things goes wrong.
I believe the study is this one:
Of course people would consider it. I'm not even personally convinced it's a great idea (I'm not currently impressed with municipal _anything_ living in Seattle), and I would _consider_ using it instead of Xfinity.
I doubt there are 20% of Americans who would reject cheap municipal broadband out of principle, if it existed and was offered to them cheaply. It doesn't mean they think it's realistic or good policy.
Are the water and sewage systems that bad in Seattle? I was unaware, but will now be detouring to learn more (although I am a little hesitant to find out what problems could be arising on the sewage front).
I'm not impressed with trash or recycling pickup, which are intermittent and expensive.
Electricity is fine I guess, but we have solar and don't end up paying anything on net so I don't pay attention to the price.
How can you know the cost is worse than a privatized version?
Intermittent trash pickup does seem problematic.
Are you assuming municipal broadband would be cheaper? As discussed elsewhere on this thread, it's very difficult to have any sense of the meaning of the results without understanding the questions asked.
If the question was literally just "would you consider switching from your current broadband supplier to a municipal supplier?" then it tells us very little other than people are making a bunch of assumptions that lead to mixed conclusions.
Even if you get the political good will early on, the fight that big players bring on is significant. One recent effort I was involved in was almost there after years of planning and having just completed a pilot build out, but got derailed by a commercial provider responding to an RFP for service by sending the municipality a non-response notice along the lines of "It's great that you're building out FTTH, but we plan on doing a full FTTH deployment of our own and it will be done within a year, just thought you'd like to know." This in itself was enough to kill any further funding, without any evidence that the company will actually follow through, because nobody has the appetite for the politics of holding the bag. They effectively got to the right people to kill the effort. Now the community is trying to see if that provider will buy a lease on what's been built so it's not a black eye in front of tax payers.
The best solution is not the one that established corporations want to see:
1. The municipality owns and deploys dark fiber using an open access FTTH model in an Active Ethernet design (e.g. every household or building has a dedicated strand, no GPON). The prevents people from being locked in to a specific speed, technology, or provider. If someone needs 100G the fiber will support it just fine.
2. The municipality maintains fiber concentration points and equipment huts or facilities for providers to co-locate equipment and service customers directly (allows choice and competition).
3. An anchor non-profit ISP (established as a 501(c)(3) and managed under a member-owned Credit Union model) is funded via a grant to provide day-1 service, but any commercial provider is free to make use of the fiber to service any location using a fair and published fiber strand fee that is presented to the customer as part of their bill (usually $10 a mo.)
4. The initial build-out is fully funded as a universal service (every property in the community, not just the high margin locations) through low-interest municipal bonds (10 year) and paid for using a modest property tax increase like any other municipal infrastructure effort. Fee collection covers ongoing maintenance and if adoption is good can cut the tax burden down by as much as half.
In other words we need to start thinking of dark fiber as a public utility the same way we think about water or electricity, but we also need to do it in a way where that utility doesn't get in the way of service delivery. The fiber is the road, and the delivery trucks that drive on it are the ISP.
Everything here is easy to do. The problem is you can almost never win the political fight to make any of it happen, at least not at the municipal level when going up against national corporations that bring in more money in one month than your annual budget.
There is no reason cost-driven for people to not have symmetrical gigabit as a baseline level of connectivity. Under the model described above, you can deliver gigabit service for about $50 a mo.