Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keep Government Out of the ISP Business

A battle is raging across America over Community Broadband Networks (CBNs). CBNs are local high-speed internet systems owned and operated by municipal or county governments, private non-profit institutions, or local for-profit companies.

My latest post at The Objective Standard blog argues why government should be legally barred from creating, owning, or operating CBNs. Read my piece titled Government has No Business in Broadband Business.


Industry analyst Craig Settles, though he believes that municipal CBNs have a place, shows how motivated entrepreneurial individuals can and do form high quality, viable private CBNs through non-profit companies and co-ops and for-profit businesses. Though the examples Settles cites did take advantage of federal subsidies, he shows that private CBNs can in fact raise adequate private capital, including from charities, and compete against the big guys.
But, as I said in my TOS article, some communities' "need" for broadband services do indeed create incentives for private initiatives to provide it. But no one has a right to broadband services, and thus no right to force others to provide it to them through government involvement.

Related Reading:

My debate commentary to Putting Up a Fight with the Internet Monopoly posted under my screen name "Zemack"

"Government Help" Leads to Totalitarian Socialism

What NJ Doesn't Need: More Government "Investment"

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