Civic News

The Newark municipal broadband debate, continued

To provide broadband as a utility or to not provide broadband as a utility?

Laying fiber. (Photo by Flickr user Kenny Holston, used under a Creative Commons license)

While Newark City Council decides whether or not to explore municipal broadband (placing the city in direct competition with Comcast and Verizon),, the government watchdog site, compiled a short analysis of the situation at hand.
“Advocates favor government-funded networks as a way to increase Internet access in underserved areas and offer competition for major incumbents; critics warn high-infrastructure costs and failed projects ultimately harm taxpayers,” said the report.
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According to, Newark is already serviced by 17 ISPs. And while more competition will only drive the price of broadband for constituents down, there are still those who object to the government getting involved with broadband as a utility.
“In my observation when a municipality sets up a broadband network, it creates a dead zone where no private provider wants to invest,” said American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow Roslyn Layton.

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