Municipal broadband overbuilders such as Chattanooga Tennessee, Longmont Colorado, and Fort Collins Colorado are in the curious position of acting as both marketplace regulators and market participants.
In this remand proceeding, critics of the RIF Order have failed to provide useful or informative insights on ensuring the needs of public safety are protected though regulation. Overall, the impression that light-touch regulation of the Internet provides the best blend of technical progress and protection of legacy Internet applications is reinforced even by critics of the current regime.
It behooves us to be realistic, to assess facts honestly, and to avoid rushing to solve non-existent problems while real needs remain unaddressed. The Internet works fine for those of us who have it, but it doesn’t work at all for the rest of us.
The inquiry will need to determine whether these deals were made for legitimate purposes (such as increasing efficiency and product quality) or for illegitimate ones, such as stifling budding competitors to better control markets. Now that the blush is off the tech rose, this is going to be an interesting inquiry.