said by silbaco:
The idea behind a lot of these projects it that they will turn a profit and pay themselves off. That may or may not happen. Either way, people are not willing to take the risk of the liability, hence is why they want to start a muni. They also want the bill to get footed by the people who have no intention on ever subscribing, such as older couple who are quite happy without the internet should the muni lose money, which it probably will.
What is wrong with letting the towns and cities decide if they want to provide Internet services or not? We aren't talking about requiring them to do so. We are just asking that AT&T, Comcast and the rest not be allowed to block them from doing so. Lots of these areas that they are fighting over are under served. They aren't densely populated so the cable companies and Telcos aren't interested in spending the money to either bring them broadband or upgrade 10+ year old systems.
Yes some muni networks fail hard. But many thrive. Some attract new companies (read jobs and taxes) to come to their towns / cities.
They have an interesting 30 min weekly podcast about Muni based networks. How some of them saved millions by running their own fiber. Others break even but bring modern broadband to those who either otherwise couldn't afford it or couldn't get it even if they could. We aren't talking downtown NYC. We are talking rural areas of the country.
Anyway some here might not know they have a weekly podcast and might find it interesting.