Universal & Non-Excludable Broadband Internet Access

A modest proposal for municipal provisioning of broadband as a basic service


  • Michel Mersereau University of Toronto


This paper argues for localizing the provisioning of broadband internet access within the portfolio of municipal services with a view to achieving universal service objective in low-income neighbourhoods. In supporting this proposition, this paper first offers a critique of how the centralization of regulatory oversight at the federal level has proven problematic in meeting universal service objectives. The paper then presents a rationale for situating municipal governments as broadband delivery intermediaries, especially in low-income urban areas, and concludes with a methodological proposition that would emphasize the consequences of broadband disenfranchisement.