Municipal Broadband Can Learn From Municipal Power

Municipal power has a 100+ year history in this country. It has consistently provided higher quality, lower prices, and better coverage than private utilities. All of the reason for establishing municipal power apply to municipal broadband. There are also economies of scale for a municipality that offers both power and broadband service.

Both involve trucks, poles, wires, digging, computerizations, customer billing and support. Huge savings can be obtained by coordinating street digging with the needs of power, broadband, and road maintenance. One set of trucks, one management, and—to a large extent—one crew can effectively serve both power and broadband operations.

Also, in the area of creating smart electric grids, the required communications needs could be satisfied by connecting to the existing broadband network. National Grid will be charging CNY customers $290M to implement smart meters and related communications to homes and businesses. Among other benefits, National Grids stands to gain its own broadband network, which it can use to provide all sorts of broadband services. All of this paid for on the backs of its electric customers and state subsidies. Once again we have socialism for big corporations and market capitalism for the rest of us.

You know, $10M–$20M here, $10M–$20M there; pretty soon we could have a municipal FTTH network with wireless on top.

For more information on municipal power and its synergies with municipal broadband, see the new Municipal Power section on the Resources page.