Tag: broadband

On Muni Broadband, Buyer Beware

By Kelly McCutchen A year after the Savannah City Council approved a $62,500 contract asking consultants to explore potential demand for a municipal broadband network, the firm finally has released its findings and recommendations.  Magellan Advisors outlines three options: building and operating a taxpayer-financed network providing service directly to consumers at a cost of $116 million; building and operating a taxpayer-financed network providing service only to government offices at a cost of about $13 million; or joint ownership of a fiber-to-premises system with a private entity at a total cost of nearly $13 million, with taxpayers responsible for $6.6 million. Thankfully for the strained city budget, Magellan says the first option wouldn’t work here. Perhaps that’s because the system would… View Article

How Government Can Speed Broadband Access

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Internet access is foundational in today’s economy. Lack of access can grind business to a halt and hobble critical services including health care, transportation and education. As a result, forward-thinking telecommunication policy is a priority in making Georgia a great place to live and economically competitive. Georgia still has work to do to increase access to broadband but the news is good: Statewide, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports show, 87 percent of Georgians have access to wired broadband connections with speeds of 25 megabits per second (mbps) or higher and 93 percent have access to speeds of 10 mbps or higher. A whopping 99 percent of Georgia’s population has access to wireless broadband of 10… View Article
The Savannah Morning News edition of June 12, 2016 published a commentary by Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen criticizing Savannah’s plans to consider city-owned broadband. The link is here; the commentary is published below in in its entirety. Kelly McCutchen: City-owned broadband a bad idea Last month, the city of Savannah issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking a company to evaluate the state of broadband services available in the city and to develop a strategic plan that will address any current gaps in service. The RFP says the plan to address gaps should include ideas for public-private partnerships or outline “various business models for municipal broadband delivery.” That phrase makes it clear that officials in Savannah… View Article

The Dangers of Municipal Broadband

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity published this roundup on February 17, 2016, of municipal broadband project initiatives around the nation. Find the article online at  http://franklincenterhq.org/12493/watchdog-government-broadband. The Internet of tax dollars: Watchdog covers the dangers of municipal broadband By As the economy continues its full-throttle transition into the digital age, government-run Internet projects have become all the rage among lawmakers in statehouses, counties, and cities. Bolstered [1] by a Federal Communications Commission ruling last year that struck down laws preventing local governments from building out and competing with other broadband networks, these “municipal broadband” projects lead governments to sink tens – if not hundreds – of millions of dollars into Internet infrastructure. Much of these… View Article
Letter to the editor, The Citizen, sent December 9, 2015 in response to a letter from Peachtree City Public Information Officer Betsy Tyler alleging the city’s plans were “misrepresented” by the Foundation President Kelly McCutchen and Watchdog.org reporter Chris Butler: Peachtree City’s Public Information Officer and City Clerk, Betsy Tyler, accuses the Georgia Public Policy Foundation of being “alarmist” in questioning Peachtree City’s plan to build out a government-owned broadband internet network (“PTC’s cable plans misrepresented in story,” December 8, 2015). We admit to being alarmed that a supposedly fiscally conservative city in Metro Atlanta would engage in such a risky venture, but we are far from alarmist. The Foundation has a nearly 25 year record of defending… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen was interviewed for a November 2, 2015, Heartland Institute article by Tony Corvo on Peachtree City’s planned taxpayer-funded broadband.  The full article is below; access it online here. Georgia Lawmakers Boot Up Taxpayer-Funded Internet By Tony Corvo The Peachtree City, Georgia City Council recently approved spending $3.2 million in taxpayer dollars to build and fund a municipal broadband Internet system. The new taxpayer-funded Internet service provider (ISP) will be funded through a mixture of subscriber fees and excise fees paid by cable television subscribers. Broadband ‘Boondoggles’ “I can’t speak for Peachtree City residents, but I think taxpayers are fed up with funding government boondoggles, especially when government is attempting to compete with… View Article
By Kevin Glass Government Internet is coming to a city near you. The only question is if anything can be done to stop the politicians scheming to bring it. Across the country, there’s been an explosion in what are euphemistically called “municipal broadband” projects – government-funded and operated broadband services that are competing with community service providers that have been operating for years. All across the country, from Newark, Delaware, to Seattle, Washington, government officials are exploring the possibility of sinking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into these projects. This isn’t a new fad: Government broadband networks have been pursued by officials since the late ’90s, when smaller locales like Ashland, Ore., and Marietta, Ga., built out their own… View Article

Friday Facts: October 9, 2015

It’s Friday! Events Today’s the deadline! Register today to attend the nonpartisan Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly. Join us Thursday, October 15 as legislators and other thought leaders from across Georgia learn from national experts how “Opportunity” knocks in Georgia. This daylong event’s theme is “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity,” Details here. Registration is $125 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Register here. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Benita Dodd. December 8: Mark your calendar! The Foundation hosts, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a panel discussion at The Cobb Galleria. Details to follow. Quotes of Note “In selecting men for office, let principle be… View Article

Georgia: The Making of a Tech Powerhouse

By John Watson Over the past few years, Atlanta has been called a “corporate stronghold,” the “tech hub of the Southeast,” a “Southern belle,” and the “Silicon Valley of the Southeast.”            John Watson In fact just this January, Cox Enterprises announced it would invest $250 million in tech startups in Atlanta. In addition to adding 1,000 jobs statewide, AT&T recently announced that its fourth Foundry facility – an innovation center devoted to developing telecommunications technologies and applications – will be in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola recently reported it would soon open an information technology center in Atlanta that will also bring 2,000 jobs to the city. So why have so many new startups and existing tech giants come to call Atlanta… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  Every day, Georgia consumers and businesses propel the state forward, increasingly with a cell phone in their hands.   Wireless is now an indispensible service for commerce. More small business owners are using wirelessly connected tablets and smartphones to handle credit card purchases. Huge volumes of goods are shipped and handled from the Port of Savannah and over roads with the aid of wirelessly connected handhelds and specially designed tracking tags. Patients are able to monitor their health and interact with doctors all using wireless devices and services.  Wireless is a jobs driver in our state. While Georgia’s job picture has been getting better, unemployment remains too high for any of us. Jobs in the wireless industry have… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes