What’s The Whole Story?

Time Warner Cable and Embarq are looking to shutdown a local ISP, Greenlight, in Wilson, NC. The tech blogs are all over this saying that it is too bad that Time Warner and Embarq can’t compete with Greenlight and they shouldn’t be trying to use the law to force them out of business.

Greenlight is offering 80 channels, 10 MB upload and download Internet speed, and telephone service for around $100 a month. Time Warner and Embarq can’t come close to that price. Hooray the tech bloggers proclaim, too bad for Time Warner and Embarq if they can’t compete with Greenlight. What they aren’t telling you is the city of Wilson paid $26 million to fund the effort and Greenlight just runs it for the city for no profit. Now if the city of Wilson gave went to Time Warner and said “Hey, if we gave you $26 million how much would you charge our citizens for a cable, phone, and Internet package?” I’m sure Time Warner would have come up with a great price, and people would be screaming at the city officials for giving a big business that much money.

My question, what’s the difference? Sure the citizens are getting a cheaper service up front but will end up paying more in taxes and fees to cover the city funding Greenlight.

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