Does Georgia Decison Signal a Turn of Sentiment for Municipal Broadband?

It might be way too early to say sentiment about municipal broadband, in U.S. state legislatures, has shifted, but the defeat of a bill in the Georgia legislature that would have banned   municipal broadband networks could indicate movement.

The bill reportedly would have outlawed municipal broadband networks where a private service supplier already offers service. That would be a relatively rare reversal, as 19 states have some restrictions on municipal broadband, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance  

There are legitimate issues. Many would say government entities generally should not compete with private entities using tax and other advantages a non-profit entity can take advantage of.

On the other hand, competition in the Internet service provider business is generally seen as promoting end user welfare. 

And as a growing number of non-traditional access methods indicate, there actually are new models other than telco, cable, satellite or independent ISP models. The Fon initiative, for example, is showing that "user-contributed" access networks are feasible in some instances. 

Perhaps the Georgia legislature is signaling something bigger, namely a willingness to allow more experimentation about broadband services, and who can provide them. 
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