Ron Sege, CEO of Tropos Networks, makes available a letter to Texas and a fact sheet on muni wireless: Tropos's vested interest, which they wear on the sleeve as a proud firm engaged in capitalism, is that they sell equipment to municipalities. Now, a company that makes a profit and employs people should be the kind of firm that the ideologically minded folks behind the concerted, paid opposition to municipal broadband should extol. Go, Tropos, go, you should be hearing them cry.
But Sege states in his letter to a Texas representative, Phil King, Chairman of the Committee on Regulated Industries, that the Texas anti-muni bill will hurt his business by removing competition, restricting broadband and other services to monopolies and duopolies. In the associated fact sheet full of rich detail with verifiable financial, crime, and staffing statistics, Sege points out that incumbents are beneficiaries of municipalities, too: rights of way, franchise agreements, and access to utility resources.
Sege isn't pretending to not be an involved party. And he's presenting his assumptions which can be checked against reality. This is first-hand research from his staff and customers; it's not newspaper articles and third-hand accounts presented as primary evidence.
I appreciate that Sege takes the time to address the misleading information that's being disseminated, such as the notion that all municipal networks are being funded from taxpayer dollars (I can't find any that are using general funds), that they will all be free, or that they don't serve economic goals.
There's this very weird disconnect in the logic of anti-muni advocates: they say that, on the one hand, broadband is a difficult and unprofitable business to be in and that it doesn't foster economic growth. But, on the other hand, they're fighting for the right for incumbents to continue to expand and control an unprofitable business that doesn't help anyone. Can anyone sort through this logic for me?