City-owned Internet services offer cheaper and more transparent pricing

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Municipal broadband networks generally offer cheaper entry-level prices than private Internet providers, and the city-run networks also make it easier for customers to find out the real price of service, a new study from Harvard University researchers found.

Researchers collected advertised prices for entry-level broadband plans—those meeting the federal standard of at least 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds—offered by 40 community-owned ISPs and compared them to advertised prices from private competitors.

The report by researchers at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard doesn't provide a complete picture of municipal vs. private pricing. But that's largely because data about private ISPs' prices is often more difficult to get than information about municipal network pricing, the report says.

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