[Santa Monica will] be able to offer its residents real net neutrality, which the [FCC] is working on rolling back for just about everyone else in the US. [...]
Santa Monica has cleverly and quietly been installing its own network of city-owned fiber-optic cables for years, and they intend to keep the net neutral. [...]
Santa Monica has also made about $5 million providing internet service and leasing out the cables to other providers, and their competition has driven down rates. — la.curbed.com
The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed that internet service providers (like Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) should be able to charge companies extra for faster service -- so for example, Netflix could pay AT&T more to ensure faster download speeds for its viewers. This would violate net neutrality, the concept that aims to ensure that every companies' data on the internet is treated (and delivered) equally. Under the FCC's proposal, larger companies would be able to make their content more accessible to users, handicapping smaller companies from the get-go.
But what if your internet service provider wasn't AT&T or Verizon, but your own city? Should city governments hold the reins of internet service, and ultimately net neutrality? It's not only a question of download speeds for the user, but of how local governments could use internet traffic data to change their city. If the internet were treated like a local utility, then perhaps city governments could more easily collect and wield data on the city, and make good on the "connected city" ideal.