Koch Brothers are Cities' New Obstacle to Building Broadband

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[Commentary] The internet, the mega-utility of the 21st century, officially has no regulator. In the meantime, fed up with federal apathy and sick of being held back by lousy internet access controlled by local cable monopolies, scrappy cities around the US are working hard to find ways to get cheap, world-class fiber-optic connectivity. But now there’s an additional obstacle: Powerful right-wing billionaires have joined the fight against municipal fiber efforts, using their deep pockets to fund efforts to block even the most commonsense of plans. Bad news for internet access—the Koch brothers are fighting low-cost open fiber nets. They are funding the Washington, DC-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance, part of a network of dark-money organizations supported in part by the Koch brothers. (The funding seems not to come from the Koch family directly but instead is funneled through other Koch-funded groups.)  [Susan Crawford is a professor at Harvard Law School]


Koch Brothers are Cities' New Obstacle to Building Broadband