Municipalities across the country are deploying all-fiber broadband networks so their residents and businesses have robust access to essential services, as well as to stimulate economic growth and development. When the market fails to provide the bandwidth that a community needs, a community should be able to respond to its citizens needs and be should be permitted to deploy an all-fiber network. As such, the Fiber Broadband Association opposes efforts to frustrate deployments by local governments in these instances. Municipalities also can propel investment in all-fiber facilities by the private sector, including by facilitating access to poles, ducts, conduit, dark fiber, and government buildings.
A growing number of municipal governments are taking it upon themselves to build FTTH networks – much in the way that they have previously built roads, sewers and/or electrical systems – as a means of ensuring that local residents have access to necessary services, in this case, Internet connectivity for the 21st Century. These municipal deployments are usually undertaken after private service providers have declined to upgrade their networks or build such systems. As of October, 2009, there are 57 public providers operating FTTH systems in North America. (These providers represent over 85 individual cities. A few cities have banded together to form consortiums and others are part of larger public utility districts.) In addition, to this list there are at least another 15 municipalities offering just fiber to the business.