For our 50th episode, we're trying something new: Lisa and I respond to three common claims made by opponents of community owned networks. We owe these three particular arguments to the Executive Director of the trade association of Wisconsin telephone companies. Each of the clips we respond to come from claims he made at a workshop at the 2012 WiscNet conference.
We play a short claim by him and then Lisa and I respond to it. For this show, we look at claims that telephone companies already serve everyone with broadband, that the rapid iteration of mobile phone technology delegitimizes public sector investment in networks, and that public investment “crowds out” private investment.
These are very common arguments offered every time a community considers building its own network, but they are quite weak. As Joey Durel, Mayor of Lafayette, so often reminds us, the big companies don't win by having good arguments. They win by buying steaks and football tickets — lobbying. Campaign contributions help too.
At any rate, let us know if you like this format and what questions we should consider the next time we do it. We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
Read the transcript from our discussion here.
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Thanks to Eat at Joe's for the music, licensed using Creative Commons.