Why should a telecommunications company buy a fiber-optic network when it can get one of free, from taxpayers? The City of Burnsville has chosen to give a nice little gift to Frontier, in a deal that looks like another case of municipal leaders making poor decisions induced by the appeal of broadband connections to the Internet.

As summarized in the south-metro site Lazy Lightning, “Unfortunately for the residents/taxpayers of Burnsville, the city handed Frontier a taxpayer funded network for free and will likely receive very little, if anything, in return.”

By taking that action, Burnsville is socializing risk and privatizing profit. Not a good combination for taxpayers, and not an example of good government.

I’ve written about similar follies before, including this piece in 2007, which outlines some other problems with government involvement in broadband deployment.