Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Wall Street Journal Publishes Joint CAGW/Utah Taxpayer Association Op Ed

Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz and Utah Taxpayers Association Vice President Royce Van Tassell published an opinion piece titled “Municipal Broadband Is No Utopia,” which was highlighted in both The Wall Street Journal’s print and online editions. The op ed reads as follows:

“Like most utopian dreams, the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, or Utopia, hasn't panned out. Utopia, a consortium of 11 municipalities to build a fiber-optic network, was initially financed in 2004 with a $185 million bond; it was supposed to be completed in three years and have a positive cash flow in five. The project is a prime example of why governments should not be in the business of building or operating broadband networks—and why the federal government should not be in the business of cheerleading for them.

“In 2006, Utopia received an additional $66 million loan from the Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Service. Two years later all but $21 million of the loan was suspended, when the agency determined that the project needed to improve its financial situation and develop a new business plan.

“Today Utopia has about 11,000 subscribers, less than one quarter of the 49,350 projected to be on board by September 2007. Its failure to attract the anticipated number of customers has caused a spectacular financial failure. Utopia has lost at least $3 million and as much as $13 million annually. As of July 1, 2013, Utopia had negative net assets of $146 million. And last November voters in Orem, part of the Utopia network, decisively rejected a hike in local property taxes to pay some of the city's costs for participating in the network.

“There is a bailout plan, under which Macquarie Capital, a private investment firm based in Australia, would complete the network. But it means new debt obligations for Utopia cities and residents as high as $1.83 billion over the next 30 years, excluding the $355 million in debt already incurred by Utopia.

“All households in those cities would have to pay a new mandatory utility fee of $20 a month, whether or not they subscribe to the network or can afford to pay. And the cities will have the power to cut off water service to those who do not pay in full or on time every month.

“By rejecting higher taxes to pay for this white elephant, the good citizens of Oren, Utah, were pointing out the obvious: Those services are already being provided in a competitive manner by private businesses.

“Nevertheless, in April, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said he believes that the FCC can pre-empt state laws that prevent municipalities from building broadband networks—even if the locality already has them. He gave no statutory basis for this power but claimed that the ‘competition’ municipal broadband could provide is being stymied by the states.

“This is an astonishing assertion of federal power. States, in Mr. Wheeler's view, cannot prevent their legal subdivisions—including counties, cities and towns—from imposing unnecessary and burdensome costs on taxpayers.

“In 2001, there were only 16 government-owned networks in nine states. By 2011, largely due to post financial crisis "stimulus" spending, that number had increased to 108 projects in 33 states. Today, there are nearly 400 communities nationwide that used taxpayer dollars to build government-owned networks.

“The record of these projects is decidedly mixed. In a 2012 study of government-owned broadband networks, Widener University's Joseph Fuhr Jr. concluded that ‘Many cities and municipalities have entered into the broadband market with disastrous results.’ The failed networks, he said, ‘have neither the resources nor the expertise necessary to provide consumers with reliable state-of-the-art broadband connections.’

“No wonder, 21 states have taken action to prevent much of this wasteful spending by restricting municipal broadband build out. Their laws range from requiring a taxpayer referendum or mandate and evidence the system can be self-sustaining, to complete prohibitions on telecommunications services if a private company or companies already provides such services.

“Mr. Wheeler would have the FCC overturn these laws and stop the other 29 states from adopting similar restrictions. He should reconsider. Otherwise, taxpayers will all be living in states of dystopia.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of tech...
This Enterprise Strategy Group lab validation report of the NEC Express5800/R320 server with Intel® Xeon® processor presents the benefits of 99.999% uptime NEC fault-tolerant servers that lower overall virtualized server total cost of ownership. This report also includes survey data on the significant costs associated with system outages impacting enterprise and web applications. Click Here to Download Report Now!
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Cloud and datacenter migration innovator AppZero has joined the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance Program. AppZero is a fast, flexible way to move Windows Server applications from any source machine – physical or virtual – to any destination server, in any cloud or datacenter, using its patented container technology. AppZero’s container is also called a Virtual Application Appliance (VAA). To facilitate Microsoft Azure onboarding, AppZero has two purpose-built offerings: AppZero SP for Azure,...
Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is designed for their business. In 2015, organizations such as United Airlines, Sony...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Trel...
Red Hat is investing in Tesora, the number one contributor to OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) also ranked among the top 20 companies contributing to OpenStack overall. Tesora, the company bringing OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) to the enterprise, has announced that Red Hat and others have invested in the company as a part of Tesora's latest funding round. The funding agreement expands on the ongoing collaboration between Tesora and Red Hat, which dates back to Febr...
IBM’s Blue Box Cloud, powered by OpenStack, is now available in any of IBM’s globally integrated cloud data centers running SoftLayer infrastructure. Less than 90 days after its acquisition of Blue Box, IBM has integrated its Blue Box Cloud Dedicated private-cloud-as-a-service into its broader portfolio of OpenStack® based solutions. The announcement, made today at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, further highlights IBM’s continued support to deliver OpenStack solutions across all cloud depl...
Everyone talks about continuous integration and continuous delivery but those are just two ends of the pipeline. In the middle of DevOps is continuous testing (CT), and many organizations are struggling to implement continuous testing effectively. After all, without continuous testing there is no delivery. And Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) enhances the CT with dynamic on-demand self-serve test topologies. CT together with LAAS make a powerful combination that perfectly serves complex software developm...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and a...
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...