To celebrate the launching of MuniNetworks.org, we wanted to highlight some of the best broadband available in the United States.
If you were looking for the best citywide broadband networks available in the United States, you would almost definitely find publicly owned networks. We just collected some data on top-performing networks in the U.S.
Though Comcast and Verizon have received a lot of attention for their investments in higher capacity networks, they still do not compare to some of the best community full fiber-to-the-home networks.
In comparing some of the fastest publicly owned broadband networks to some of the fastest national private sector networks, we found that the publicly owned networks offer more value per dollar. Update: A few weeks after this was published, Verizon upped its speeds and prices for several of the tiers.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the data are the baseline speeds available in Wilson North Carolina and Lafayette Louisiana. Lafayette offers a symmetrical 10Mbps connection for $28.95/month whereas Wilson charges $34.95.
I can only imagine how these networks have made their businesses more competitive while cutting telecom budgets for the schools and cities. Imagine being a business in Lafayette with a 50Mbps symmetrical connection when your competition is renting a T-1 at 1.5Mbps for $500/month. 30x the speed at 1/10th the cost. That is a competitive advantage.
In Utah, if Comcast has upgraded to DOCSIS 3 in that area, they'll be charging $140/month for a 50/10 connection when those in the UTOPIA footprint have access to a 100/100 connection for $147.
At least some communities across the U.S. are still competitive with the rest of the world when it comes to Mbps at affordable prices. There is still hope.