Most people in our rural area favor competition as the best method of ensuring fair prices and high levels of service, so it took some time for many of us to come around to the idea of “community-owned” broadband. But we found that in rural areas, expecting several potential suppliers of high-speed internet isn’t realistic because it costs too much to create the necessary infrastructure, and having only a small number of for-profit suppliers put our citizens in a bad position in terms of bargaining power.

So, we opted for community ownership and control of broadband. Here’s a quick summary of the thinking that got us there, and a note of concern we have about how broadband funding is currently being handled by the new state agency charged with distributing that taxpayer money.