Comcast offered to get internet service to (96% of) the good people of Charlemont, Mass in exchange for a $462,123 subsidy; instead, the town of 1300 voted to reject the offer and spend $1.4M to build their own super-fast fiber network.
The town will charge $79/month for symmetrical gigabit access with no data-caps, and people can add phone and TV service for an extra payment.
If enough townspeople sign up, there will be no extra taxes levied for the network rollout as they will be able to cover the whole costs through subscription fees.
Go Charlemont! Today, you are the smartest people in America.
An increase in property taxes would cover the construction cost. But the town would also bring in revenue from selling broadband service, and potentially break even, making the project less expensive than Comcast's offer.
"With 59 percent of households taking broadband service, the tax hike would be 29 cents [per $1,000 of assessed home value], similar to that for Comcast," a Recorder article last month said. "But if 72 percent or more of households subscribe to the municipal-owned network, there is no tax impact, because subscriber fees would pay for it."
Comcast rejected by small town—residents vote for municipal fiber instead [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Word on the Street, Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly).
Octavia Butler (previously), the brilliant Afrofuturist, McArthur Genius Grant-winning science fiction writer, died far, far too soon, leaving behind a corpus of incredible, voraciously readable novels, and a community of writers who were inspired by her example.
EFF has just posted a job listing for a development director, seeking someone to "take charge of EFF's eleven-person Development Team in their efforts to raise over $13 million each year," starting late 2019 or early 2020.
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