My first blog was on August 1, 2008 and at the time it seemed like the FCC had Net Neutrality under control, but not really… and now the FCC wants to “explore the possibility of helping cities build their own connections to the Internet and bypassing the commercial broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast that have generally served as America’s onramps to the Web” according to the Washington Post. The Post article is entitled “How the history of electricity explains municipal broadband” which explains:
Unlike today, electricity wasn’t always common or plentiful in the United States. Direct-current electricity was hard to transmit over long distances, because the power faded over long distances. Those limitations gave rise to lots of power plants being built in the 1890s that were meant to serve very small areas within a city. As technology improved, those small power plants led to much larger ones serving wider areas and more customers. Eventually, the companies running these plants effectively got taken over by even bigger companies that held ownership stakes in numerous utility firms across the country.
Ultimately in 1933 during the Great Depression the Roosevelt Administration:
…launched the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrification Administration, among a number of other offices meant to provide power to those who’d been passed over by the privately owned utilities because those areas weren’t as profitable. TVA in particular worked with cities like Chattanooga to provide affordable energy.
Time will tell how this proposal will turn out, but given the need for high speed Internet access municipal broadband may be all, or part, of the solution.
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