How the history of electricity explains municipal broadband


Author: Brian Fung
Coverage Type: analysis
Location:
USA, United States

[Commentary] In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt launched the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrification Administration, among a number of other offices meant to provide power to those who'd been passed over by the privately owned utilities because those areas weren't as profitable.

TVA in particular worked with cities like Chattanooga to provide affordable energy. To supporters of publicly owned broadband networks, the TVA's circumvention of commercially owned electric utilities to support public utility projects helps justify the rise of municipal Internet today -- despite the protests of incumbents both then and now.

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