Fact Checking the Opposition's Claims

Our non-local opposition has struck again with a big 8x11 mailer telling people to vote no. 

Their two main claims are:

The lights are turning off on a similar plan in Traverse City

90% of municipal internet providers have failed…

Let’s dig into each of these. 

Traverse City

In June, local media reported on Traverse City’s expansion to the whole city that’s ready to kick off later this summer. That is far from a failure, but a project that’s just getting momentum. So far their downtown Phase 1 area has a 23% and growing take rate, which is great for how early they are in the project!

This mailer used an article by Jarrett Skorup as its source. Jarrett is a a frequent collaborator of Ted Boelma and is a regular critic of municipal broadband. His articles do not seem unbiased. 

Traverse City’s expansion also attracted frequent critics of municipal fiber. Their project is different from Holland’s, and funded different. The critics need you to think it has failed so they can claim funding the expansion is a bailout. 

It also, is a lesser service than Holland is offering ($60 for 200 Mbps compared to $42 for 1,000 Mbps)

Holland isn’t Traverse City, and Traverse City hasn’t failed.

90% of municipal projects have NOT failed

The mailer nicely cites their source for this claim, a January paper from Christopher Yoo. Unfortunately, Yoo has a history of these claims that have been regularly debunked. 

Two sources discrediting Yoo: 

1. Professor Yoo’s Flawed Study Flunks Test on Municipal Broadband

By Joanne Hovis and Jim Baller of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice

In a short blog post, two industry experts dissect the anti-municipal broadband study from Professor Yoo at University of Pennsylvania. It is a brief overview of the most egregious errors in the paper.

2. Community Fiber Fallacies: Yoo Discredits UPenn, Not Municipal Networks

By the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Next Century Cities

In this report, we debunk an academic study from a University of Pennsylvania law school professor who used a poor methodology and purposefully ignored many benefits of municipal networks to critique municipal networks’ financial viability.

Another great source:

Fact Checking the New Taxpayers Protection Alliance Report, GON With the Wind 

By the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

In this quick response to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s _GON With the Wind_report on municipal broadband networks, we correct the report authors’ errors and omissions and show that only eight of the 30 networks studied can be claimed as “failures.”

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

So why the mailer?

Someone with money to burn, or profits to protect, thinks they can use these claims to derail our project. Speak up, and show them they can’t intimidate us.

Want to help us amplify our voices? Chip in today!


  1. I’ve been seeing the lies from groups claiming to be citizens but are Comcast funded. I am still unclear what this fiber option might cost me but I KNOW that I pay way more to Comcast for very poor service and have for many years.

    diane mason
    Diane Mason
    July 26, 2022 at 4:30 PM

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