Chattanooga, Tennessee has provided a model for all American towns who want to see their economies and populations grow quickly. And that model is simple – give sub-par internet providers like Comcast some legitimate competition with publicly-owned municipal broadband networks.
“People understand that high-speed Internet access is quickly becoming a national infrastructure issue just like the highways were in the 1950s,” Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke told CNN Money. “If the private sector is unable to provide that kind of bandwidth because of the steep infrastructure investment, then just like highways in the 1950s, the government has to consider providing that support.”
If you’re sick of having only one cable/internet company in your town and have horror stories about dealing with a global corporation that has a monopoly and doesn’t care about you, you aren’t the only one. According to a 2011 survey by the FCC, 61 percent of Americans have only one cable and internet provider to choose from. And in 2012, Comcast and Time Warner both ranked in the top ten most hated companies. Comcast even took home Consumerist’s grand prize of Worst Company in America in 2010 and 2014. This call between an exasperated Comcast customer just trying to cancel his service and a Comcast rep insisting that he keep the service he doesn’t want captures how a lot of Americans feel about monopoly cable providers like Comcast.
This article is part 1 of the five-part “Austerity is Bunk” series, hosted on commonomicsusa.org