Communities invest in telecommunications networks for a variety of reasons - economic development, improving access to education and health care, price stabilization, etc. They range from massive networks offering a gig to hundreds of thousands in Tennessee to small towns connecting a few local businesses.
This map tracks a variety of ways in which local governments have invested in wired telecommunications networks as well as state laws that discourage such approaches.
Our map includes nearly 400 communities:
89 communities with a publicly owned FTTH network reaching most or all of the community.
74 communities with a publicly owned cable network reaching most or all of the community.
Over 180 communities with some publicly owned fiber service available to parts of the community.
Over 40 communities in 13 states with a publicly owned network offering at least 1 Gigabit services.
Nineteen states have barriers in place that discourage or prevent local communities from deciding locally if such an investment is a wise decision. We strongly believe these decisions should be made locally, based on needs, capacity, and desire of the community itself.
Click on the pin of a network to learn more about it or click on a state with barriers (in red) to learn about the limitation. Below the map, you may select what types of information you want to display.
We continue to expand this map with other forms of publicly owned networks. Still to come are wireless networks, networks serving community anchor institutions, and more. Get updates by signing up for our one-email-per-week list announcing new stories and resources.
This is where the profit motive fails society -- there's no real financial incentive to provide coverage for someplace like Gilboa, New York, so therefore it isn't covered. But there is an incentive to prevent anyone else -- including the small town itself or, heaven forbid, the entire county -- from providing services to Gilboa because a David may grow up with the potential of killing Goliath.
Government does have an interest in seeing Gilboa, New York get access to broadband Internet coverage, because that would mean more employment opportunities, better educational facilities, and even more self-employment. In other words, like roads, sewage and utilities, broadband infrastructure is necessary to economic development.