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digital equity

Philly Used Its Franchise Agreement To Win Internet Access For All

How is it that internet carriers like Spectrum came to dominate service in New York City, while others like Xfinity reign supreme in cities like Minneapolis? While residents are familiar with the major internet providers in their cities, they’re less familiar with the agreements that brought them there. Across the country, internet access often reaches homes through the public right of way — the edges of privately owned land under which public lines are laid. Utility providers of everything from water to electricity and internet use these lines to deliver their services to customers. To use these public lines, internet providers from Comcast to Cox enter franchise agreements with local governments.
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