Government Accountability Office Study Emphasizes Need for Municipal Broadband Systems


There is a good deal of misinformation being distributed about municipal construction of broadband systems (fiber based internet access), including that consumers and businesses don’t need it and that local governments should be prohibited from providing it. The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is starting to actively promote municipal broadband and there are several ongoing federal financial assistance programs for such projects.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a study which documents the need for and Government Accountability Office Study Emphasizes Need for Municipal Broadband Systemsbenefits of higher speed/lower cost municipal systems. Among its conclusions:

“Affordable broadband access allows small businesses to operate more efficiently, retain a talented workforce, and improve services to their customers” and

“Prices charged by federally funded and municipal networks were slightly lower than the comparison networks’ prices for similar speeds. Prices for lower to mid-range speed tiers available from federally funded and municipal networks in non-urban areas also compared favorably to prices in urban areas in the same state.”


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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