Dispelling the Myths

The Truth About Community Fiber Optic Systems

Municipal fiber optic providers…

  • Compete on a level playing field with other providers - Municipal fiber optic providers are funded solely by customers purchasing services. Municipal fiber optic providers do not receive any tax money from local governments (in fact they pay local taxes in the form of $6.5 million a year in-lieu-of tax payments). In some cases, municipal fiber optic providers have won federal infrastructure grants—the same kinds of grants private providers have received to incentivize them to build out infrastructure.
  • Increase investment by other providers - The big telecom and cable providers have announced plans to provide fiber optic services in communities that already are served by municipal fiber or another option (like Google Fiber).
  • Comprehensively serve the community (even small towns and rural areas) - Community-based fiber networks serve the whole area not just the most lucrative parts of town. Unlike big telecom and cable companies, municipal fiber optic providers have demonstrated a willingness to partner with other communities in comprehensively serving more rural areas as long as the greater expense of serving these areas is balanced by access to more densely populated areas.
  • Increase market competition - Communities with municipal fiber have seen traditional providers offer enhanced services typically available in only the largest markets. Municipal fiber providers have also created a competitive environment, which has caused big telecom and cable to offer better pricing to consumers.
  • Pay for themselves - Many infrastructure investments only offer an indirect return on investment through community growth. Community fiber networks pay for themselves through subscriber services.
  • Drive Job Creation and Education - Community-based fiber networks serve local industrial parks and schools without charging excessive installation fees.
  • Grow local tax revenues - Tennessee’s existing community fiber networks pay more than $6.5 million in in-lieu-of taxes to local governments.