The traffic-choked yuppie paradise of Santa Monica is so benevolently powerful it'll even be able to offer its residents real net neutrality, which the Federal Communications Commission is working on rolling back for just about everyone else in the US. The FCC has recently proposed new rules that would let the big, crappy internet service providers (Time Warner, AT&T, Verizon) charge companies extra for faster service—so if, for instance, Netflix wanted to send a Time Warner subscriber a streaming video at the fastest possible rate, they'd have to pay an extra premium to Time Warner. (Or BuzzFeed could pay for faster gif-loading, or whatever. It's ExpressLanes for the internet, basically.) But 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.
A recent report found 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. About 130 businesses ("from hotels to tech startups and entertainment companies," says the Lookout) are already buying internet access from Santa Monica, which they say is "10 times faster and one-third the price of competitors." Next up they're working on hooking up access for multi-family housing and, eventually, every home in the city.
· Santa Monica Offers Alternative to Big Business Internet Providers [Lookout News]
· FCC proposal would destroy net neutrality [The Verge]