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Rural

Mark Arnold, telecommunications director for Kutztown, PA

HEATHER KHALIFA/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

The rural borough of Kutztown, Pa., couldn't convince companies to bring faster internet to its community. So the town, about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia, built its own broadband network. Since 2000, Kutztown's 5,000 residents can buy internet service from a municipal entity, just like the water and electricity they purchase from borough utilities. The publicly-owned, fiber optic network has not only provided improved download speeds, but has also lowered prices, the town says. A private company has since slashed its rates to compete, it adds. "Whether you subscribe to the service or no...

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