Access to tax-exempt financing does not begin to explain the sizable rate differences between municipal and private cable providers. It explains only about one percentage point of the 20, 30, or 40 percentage points that private cable rates were above those of municipal systems.
Muni FTTH Snapshot - Kutztown, PA
Kutztown, a small community in Pennsylvania, built a fiber-to-the-home network in 2002 run by the public power utility called Hometown Utilicom. The small town network was taken very seriously by major networks, like Verizon, that pushed to create laws in Pennsylvania that would make it difficult for other communities to build the networks they needed.
This snapshot from Broadband Properties offers some history and technical specifications of the network. This was the economic development impact:
Several businesses relocated to or expanded in the area because of the network. The amount of student housing has increased. The municipality itself has saved significantly on telecommunications costs. Residents have saved $1.5 million due to Hometown Utilicom’s lower rates and the competitive discounts offered by other local service providers.