Part 3

“Most internet problems are inside the home.” – The perils of Municipal Broadband, Prop B and Lucas, Texas: Part 3

In Part 3, Chip Baltimore of the TPA recommends that Lucas do the work to actually figure out what kind of problems the city really has, including the reality that for small communities with existing providers, most internet connectivity problems are inside the home.

See below for a summary of  the points raised in the video.


A summary of  points raised in the video:

  1. We should figure out what kind of problems we really have in Lucas.
  2. A brutally honest consultant found the majority of internet problems in smaller communities come from inside the home, not the internet provider. Slow speeds, connectivity problems etc are due to what’s inside the home. 
  3. If your laptop or other device is more than 2 rooms away from your Wifi router, you will suffer slower speeds and a weaker connection to that device.  This is called  “breaking the 2 wall rule”.  
  4. If you have big parts of the community without 25mpbs down and 3mbps upload, or if it’s super spotty, then you need to look for a broader solution, engaging with the telecoms currently serving your city. (note: this requires a real speed test, not a speed test that is slowed by problems inside of the home)
  5. Some cities are proactive and adopt measures requiring developers to install conduit in new subdivisions or new housing areas.  This will make it faster and cheaper for your internet company to install service to these areas. 
  6. If you have a city that wants to help incentivize this, instead of spending $19m, offer a lower $ amount incentive from incumbents to expand into the spots that don’t have service. 
  7. Don’t believe the argument that building a city run internet business creates competition with existing providers and will drive prices down.
  8. For a city owned internet service to be sustainable over the long term, they have to get to near monopoly level. If you have 2 incumbent providers already, adding the city to the mix will just divide up the market and the city owned internet business won’t survive on just 40%. Lucas will need 55% or more just to break even. 
  9. There are a number of reasons some people won’t want gigabit service. Netflix is optimized to run at 0.5mbps. This means you can run 2000 Netflix movies at the same time on a gigabit line and no one does this.


Part 3 is coming soon.


More about Chip Baltimore and the TPA (

Chip Baltimore is a former four-term state representative from Iowa, having spent more than five years as Chair of the Iowa House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and spent time as Vice Chair of the Commerce and Government Oversight committees. During his eight years of public service, he also served on the Economic Growth, Local Government, Ways and Means, State Government, and Agricultural committees.  Throughout his tenure in the legislature, he focused on making government more effective and cost-efficient for taxpayers.

In the private sector, Baltimore was employed as general counsel with a publicly-traded financial services organization for 13 years.  Previously, he was in private legal practice for 14 years, representing clients of all types, from individuals to Fortune 500 companies.

Baltimore has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in finance from Iowa State University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota.  He is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Missouri, as well as the federal Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. TPA, through its network of taxpayers will hold politicians accountable for the effects of their policies on the size, scope, efficiency and activity of government and offer real solutions to runaway deficits and debt. Through blogs, commentaries, and special spending alerts, TPA will publish timely exposés of government waste, fraud, and abuse.  Recognizing the importance of reaching people through traditional and new media, TPA will utilize use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and user generated videos to reach out to taxpayers and government officials. Ultimately recognizing that the greatest power of change rests with the millions of Americans across the country who are ready for a smaller more accountable government, TPA will be a catalyst for connecting taxpayers to their elected and non-elected officials.


Additional Resources

For additional information on PROP B and risks Lucas taxpayers need to know, see the article:
“Risks Lucas Taxpayers Need To Know About Prop B: The Vanity Internet Project”

For a 3rd part independent review of the Magellan Feasibility study which is the foundation of PROP B, see the article:
Taxpayers Protection Alliance Weighs in with Negative Review of Magellan’s Study