For years now, Baltimore has been at odds with Comcast and Verizon in trying to get them to upgrade and expand their services in the city. In the past, Baltimore officials have openly begged the providers and have hired a consultant to explore whether a municipal broadband network would be a good idea.

Neither company has shown any interest in doing such a thing. Verizon decided not to install FiOS in Baltimore while Comcast is found in select locations throughout the city.

Now, those in the city are trying a different approach. The Baltimore Broadband Coalition has attracted hundreds of people and nearly $17,000 in donations to start and maintain a crowdsourced campaign.

“This is an advocacy effort to help to change what has been the city’s plan, or lack of plan, on broadband,” said Philip Spevak, one of the campaign’s organizers. “Those numbers will help to motivate the city.” – BaltimoreSun

Those who join the coalition pay $10 each and their goal at the moment is to attract at least 20 percent of owner-occupied households and 5 percent of rental units in each neighborhood.

As the group notes, broadband prices in the city are lower than in the suburbs and the service costs as much as $500 more per year. 20 percent to 40 percent of Baltimore residents lack an Internet connection at home.

So, what are Comcast and Verizon doing with this growing public backlash?

Comcast and Verizon, the dominant Internet providers in the city, both said they aim to connect customers to the fastest technology possible. But neither has plans to connect homes and businesses directly to fiber, as the campaign seeks. – BaltimoreSun

So, no change. Why should they? They have a nice duopoly that allows both to do whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want.