According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, most Americans would agree with having local governments build and operate their own internet services if providers in their area were not up to standard.
The Verge reports that the Pew Research Center surveyed over 4000 Americans by telephone last summer to question their views relating to broadband infrastructure and access. Pew found that 70 percent of the people surveyed agreed that local governments should be allowed to create their own broadband networks if the services offered by current providers are, “too expensive or not good enough.”
This seems to show a massive level of support for municipal broadband, however, in recent times as many as 20 states have passed laws banning local government from developing their own broadband services. Some cities are not bound by these laws, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee, where mayor Andy Berke credited his city’s municipal broadband network with the revitalization of the town.
In 2015, the FCC attempted to allow municipalities to ignore laws relating to the banning of local broadband service construction but some states fought the FCC and ultimately won. The debate around municipal networks is quite an old one with the topic introduced to the House nearly a decade ago with both Republican and Democrat sponsors, further confirming the theory that it was a bipartisan issue.
Although municipal broadband may be supported by the majority of Americans, less were willing to agree with broadband subsidies for low-income households. Only 44 percent of Americans agreed with subsidies while the rest of those surveyed believed that current internet services were “affordable enough.”
The full study by the Pew Research Center can be read here.