Google Fiber and the community broadband ripple


Google’s (s goog) launch of its fiber to the home project last month has the potential to disrupt and drive better municipal broadband networks. First and foremost, $70 per month gigabit Internet access and $120 per month gigabit access plus IPTV knocks a pillar from under AT&T, Time Warner Cable and other giant incumbents, while giving community broadband advocates renewed energy for the fight.

Incumbents can’t continue deflecting demands to deliver better broadband with weak excuses (though they don’t give up trying). Now communities newly motivated by all the publicity can say, “we want a gig like Kansas City. If you won’t do it, we’ll get it done ourselves.”

Some communities may partner with local providers such as in California and CityLink Telecommunications in New Mexico that have built networks and offer sub-$100 per month gig service. Others may find alternative sources of funding and build their…

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