Should the internet be a public utility? Cities say yes

A different vision of how the internet could operate is already taking shape across the United States. In recent years, many cities and towns around the country have built their own broadband networks. These communities are often seeking to provide affordable high-speed internet service to neighborhoods that the for-profit network providers aren’t adequately serving.

One of the best-known efforts is in the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which built its own high-speed fiber-optic internet network in 2009.

Chattanooga’s experiment has been an unequivocal success: According to a 2018 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, Chattanooga’s municipal broadband network is the top-rated internet provider in the entire U.S.


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