Which is more important:
1.Spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to finance sports facilities, stadiums, and “incentive packages” to attract and keep major sports franchises calling your city home;
2.Building quality digital infrastructure that will deliver 21st century broadband service at affordable prices for every local citizen that wants the service.
Here in western New York, the city of Buffalo — the third poorest city in the nation with 28 percent of its residents living in poverty and suffering chronically high unemployment — is about to the recipient of a one billion dollar bailout courtesy of the state government (a/k/a taxpayers). That, even as some in the city are howling that the promised tens-to-hundreds of millions in promised renovation funding for the Ralph Wilson (Buffalo Bills) Stadium is apparently not included.
While hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are readily available to finance sports stadiums, getting privately financed bonds for public broadband is somehow the real crime in states like North and South Carolina. North Carolina already has legislation in place that virtually assures broadband service is under the control of the state’s largest phone and cable companies, or it simply is not provided at all. Evidently in a battle over worthwhile public spending, financing a reported $260 million for Charlotte, N.C.’s Time Warner Cable Arena remains a higher priority than making sure the people of North Carolina have decent broadband service.
South Carolina this week is considering extending a similar courtesy to companies like AT&T and Time Warner Cable. They need better broadband even more than their neighbors to the north.
Happily, broadband advocate Craig Settles has found a way for broadband lovers to have their cake and eat it too.
...but none for this?
Why not construct public, non-profit broadband networks by selling ownership shares to the general public?
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc