Municipal Broadband Advocates say Comcast lawsuit proves need for public internet service

From Geekwire's Taylor Soper:

"Sawant, a former software engineer who was elected to the Seattle City Council as a socialist candidate in January 2014, has been a long-time advocate for a municipal broadband network in the Emerald City.

“The purpose of a public internet utility is to provide high-speed, affordable and equitable internet coverage to all Seattle neighborhoods, residents, and businesses,” she wrote last year. “Municipal broadband can be a powerful lever against the digital divide that condemns people to the isolation and reduced economic opportunities experienced by many of our low-income, disabled, and people of color community members.”

She added: “We should expect Comcast and CenturyLink to go to every length to keep their unchallenged duopoly in Seattle.”

Devin Glaser, policy and political director of a grassroots group campaigning for a city-owned broadband network called Upgrade Seattle, told GeekWire that “Comcast’s Service Protection Plan was nothing more than $5 a month of 21st Century snake oil, and the Attorney General’s lawsuit is the kind of work we’d like to see from all of our elected officials.”

More from Glaser:

At the end of the day Ferguson’s move is a great offense but what subscribers really need is a good defense. Comcast tricked subscribers into paying $5 more a month through deceptive practices, but there’s no real mechanism in place preventing Comcast from simply charging higher prices in the first place. The majority of Comcast’s victims still have no alternative for reliable access to the internet, which is why Upgrade Seattle is still working to create a robust public option that doesn’t rely on a for-profit motive. Seattle residents are tired of sending their money to Philadelphia when it could be used to invest in a local network here in our community.