In a recent guest opinion published several newspapers around the state, former Iowa legislator Chip Baltimore used several tired (and untrue) arguments against municipal broadband. Baltimore, who did not run for re-election in 2018, is now a Senior Fellow for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. That group has been running anti-municipal editorials and opinion pieces around the nation this year, including one criticizing plans for a municipal fiber network in Traverse City, Michigan.
In a fantastic response, Osage Municipal Utilities Manager Josh Byrnes countered Baltimore's claims and dispelled many of the myths that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has been promoting. Here's an excerpt from Byrnes' guest column:
"There are significant advantages community-owned utilities have when implementing rural broadband access. Community-owned utilities already have established relationships with their customers and can communicate with them directly and in a timely manner. The employees are the friends and neighbors of the community and serve with a sense of purpose." -- Josh Byrnes, Osage Municipal Utilities General Manager
Brynes' insight on the issue of municipal broadband comes not only from his experience as manager of a community-owned utility. He also served in the Iowa Legislature prior to taking on the manager position at Osage.
Thank you to Josh for setting the record straight!
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