The American Association for Public Broadband (AAPB) is fighting back against dark money groups and their attacks on community broadband networks nationwide.
AAPB Executive Director Gigi Sohn (a guest on the latest edition of the Broadband Action podcast) issued a statement this week in response to a recent campaign launched by a group called the Domestic Policy Caucus. This group, whose funding support is a mystery, has a website Nogovinternet.com that makes wild an inaccurate claims about CBAN member Traverse City Light and Power in Michigan and Utopia in Utah. The same group also has launched a project called giaa to attack a planned community broadband network in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Sohn issued the following statement this week
“Here they go again. Using false and tired arguments, big cable is attacking three community broadband networks that residents and their elected officials chose to build and own. And like it did earlier this year in Bountiful City, Utah, it is hiding behind a surrogate that doesn’t reveal its financial supporters.
“It is profoundly ironic that the country’s richest media companies are attacking “government-run” networks when they are at the same time bringing in billions of dollars of subsidies from the federal government and seeking billions more in grants from state governments. When your tax dollars are on the table, these “private” enterprises are more than happy to grab them with both hands.
“Traverse City, Falmouth and the Utah communi>es served by UTOPIA Fiber exercised the freedom to control their broadband futures because incumbent cable and telephone companies have not built networks that meet the needs of their residents, in some cases even after city officials asked them to do so. The residents of those communities want affordable, robust and reliable broadband and excellent customer service. But big cable would rather spend millions of dollars trying to block competition than improving their own networks.
“It is hardly a coincidence that two of community networks featured on big cable’s dark money hit list are affiliated with AAPB. As hundreds of communities consider public broadband as an option for their residents, AAPB will be there to defend their freedom to choose at every turn.”
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