To the editor:
There’s been much discussion and debate in the news around municipal broadband.
These internet access services, funded by local government, could be key in preventing large ISPs from using and abusing their customers in an era without Net Neutrality protections.
On Bainbridge Island, there’s really only one option for island residents; and that’s Comcast. CenturyLink simply does not offer speeds appropriate for this decade (in most areas of the island, not even enough to stream HD video). Other options, like wireless home internet from cell phone carriers leave customers with high bills and restrictive data caps.
Knowing islanders have no other choice, Comcast charges unfair prices and engages in shady practices. The state Attorney General is currently suing Comcast for upwards of $100 million “for more than 1.8 million violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act,” according to news reports.
Municipal broadband would allow islanders to avoid these unfair business practices and tailor services to their community’s needs. I strongly encourage community members to advocate for municipal broadband and for our city to take a look at offering this service to our islanders.