A Municipal Failure
Georgia town's adventures in broadband
Though it hasn't happened often, one municipal broadband provider in Georgia apparently wanted to develop their own broadband network and wound up befuddled and nearly bankrupt in the process. The town of Trion, Georgia, about 75 miles northwest of Atlanta, invested several million dollars in a municipal network for a town with a population of roughly 1,997 people. Unfortunately local residents ran out of patience before completion
, and the town burned through its cash reserves. The town is now looking to sell the network; either as a large system or in smaller pieces, and blames the whole thing on the town's last mayor. "I think . . . the mayor got a wild hair,"
says one local resident. "He thought he could put in a cable company and it wouldn't cost as much [as Charter was billing]. He just wasted a whole lot of money."
Nothing beats the thrill of spending other people's money.
"They voted on Thursday and started digging on Friday"
·Armstrong Zoom ..
I've heard this one before... So the project was poorly conceived, poorly researched, poorly planned, and poorly managed?
I've seen many failed projects like this before. Ah yes, politicians do like to have a popular cause, but that does not ensure success, only hard work and careful planning can do that. It sure sounds like someone had a good idea, sold the idea to others and then found a contractor who was more than willing to do a "design and build" project, on a pay as you go basis.
They did not starve this project for funds. For the money they spent, the city should have gotten a working system up and running in much of their area. That's why it has mismanagement all over it.
Muni broadband has great potential and is a proven model, when done thoughtfully and properly. Stupidly executed projects like this just provide fodder for the incumbents, their lobbyists and PR flacks. Incumbent utilities will use tout this failed project for years to come, as "proof" that muni broadband can't work, ignoring all the successful efforts in communities nationwide.
Macy Hallock APK Net, Inc. Cleveland, Ohio
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates (1955-Present) in 1981
[text was edited by author 2003-04-29 04:19:05]
It does work Last time i checked the city of Monroe, Ga (My old hometown) had its own utilities network that included electricity water gas and cable television, and they just recently started offering cable internet to all of its customers too. So "proof" that it cant work will always be offset by proof that it can.
This is taken from the homepage of the city of monroe.
"Also attracting both individual and corporate customers is the Monroe Utilities Network; Monroe's community-owned, full-service utility company providing Monroe, Walton County, and Oconee County residents a wide range of services including; water, electricity, gas, sewer, cable TV, and high-speed Internet. Additionally, the Monroe Utilities Network provides a citywide broadband fiber optic system typically found only in larger metropolitan areas."
It can and does work, the Monroe Utilities Network has been established for decades. »www.monroega.com/