MediacomPowerDisappointFor years, Mediacom has fought numerous cities and states wanting actual fiber-based broadband networks.

  • Going back to 2005, Mediacom has spent millions lobbying a variety of states on the evils of trying to install fiber lines themselves. Just let Mediacom do it and their own pace.
  • When Lake County, Minnesota decided to put together a plan to install fiber-optic lines throughout most parts of the city, Mediacom objected. Mind you, the entire city had been complaining for years to Mediacom about their ridiculously expensive and slow DSL speeds. Essentially, Mediacom wanted to continue under-serving the area at a high monthly price for residents without any competition.
  • When citizens in Emmetsburg, Iowa, put up a vote to approve a $3.5 million bond to cover approximately half the cost to build a FTTH system, Mediacom distributed flyers throughout the city urging a “no” vote. What makes this story incredible is that Mediacom put on those flyers that “Customers in Emmetsburg get the same services as those in larger cities.” Which makes absolutely no sense considering not a single person in Emmetsburg actually got fast speeds at this time. Literally, nobody.
  • And please do not talk about Google Fiber to Mediacom officials, they are tired of it.
ArsTechnica
ArsTechnica

So, when I saw that Mediacom officials were actively looking to talk to Jacksonville about a “fiber proposal” that would cost taxpayers nothing (according to Mediacom)….I was intrigued. Why the sudden change of heart?

It’s been over a year since it was announced that a $100-million high-speed fiber-optic broadband Internet line, the Illinois Century Network, was completed. The network, which took four years to finish and was funded with federal, state and private money, includes Morgan, Scott, Cass and Sangamon Counties in a 55-county area. Mediacom officials explained that as a result, there are 28 miles of fiber in the Jacksonville area. – WLDS

Oh, I see….so Mediacom has no objection because they can use the completed fiber lines without any cost to them. The same lines that Mediacom has objected to being built across the country. But if those lines are already installed and ready to be used by Mediacom? Sure, let’s use them.

By the way, are we sure it will cost taxpayers nothing? Because you have to love the way that Mediacom explains it to city officials:

Todd Curtis was one of several Mediacom representatives who spoke. “So, out of all the communities we’re visiting with- and there aren’t very many- we’re going to choose six that have the greatest potential, greatest willing to partner, and it doesn’t have to be the largest city. We’re not looking to do anything that’s on your dime; it’s all on our dime. We do look for just the partnership which would allow us to ease the transition. If there’s an obstacle, if there’s a barrier to an extension, do you have facilities in place that might allow us easier access? We could work out a trade agreementnothing is free, so it would be a partnership,” he says. – WLDS

Well, that does mean that it likely will cost taxpayers some amount of money. If the city hands over a number of facilities to Mediacom, it costs the city either revenue or manpower costs.