Don recently wrote a lame brain piece on how local communities should stand aside while telecoms lay down tracks. He used the Ashland, OR example to build up his straw man and then knock it right down. None doing though from the mighty comment:
Ask Californians and Portlanders how they feel about the power copmanies. Ask yourself how you feel about your cable company. Now, ask who is in the best position to ensure that high-speed internet? AFN currently offers 3-5 Mbps at $40 per month in Ashland. Next year, that will be 10 Mbps. The losses on the system (now almost 10 years old) have pretty much all stemmed from the cable TV side. Why? Because the city tried to do a good deed by charging a ridiculously low monthly fee ($24) for cable TV. No other market in the country is at that price. Even with the low cost, Charter Cable decided to compete in Ashland for cable customers. They do this by offering Charter cable services below market and below their own cost. (That's probably illegal, but the FCC has never bothered to investigate it. I wonder why?)I was going to write a post replacing the words "Ashland" with "Tacoma Power" or "Grays Harbor PUD," to point out how laughable it is to argue that cities shouldn't provide telecom while they do provide power, but this is way better.
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