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Tacoma Public Utility
TPU Rails

The following comment was posted by Rich Langsford - as a comment to the article:

By Rich Langsford – reprinted here with his permission

"First of all, after looking at the income statements provided in the Advanced Stream link, I would agree that Click does appear to finally be turning the corner and making money. Thank goodness for that.

But, on another level, why do public utilities have to show a profit anyway? Most are judged to be in the public interest and therefore subsidized by tapping the tax base. If lakes were to dry up one year and TPU lost money by importing water from distant sources, would they talk about selling the water company? If there was no rain and the dams couldn’t make electricity, causing the power division to lose money, would they sell it off to PSE or would they just float a bond? How would Tacomans react to their roads being sold to private firms and then being charged a per mile toll to pay for pothole repairs?

Even public assembly facilities, like the Tacoma Dome, Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, Cheney Stadium, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Rialto Theater, Theatre on the Square enjoy subsidies. Maybe we should dump those too? Clearly, data highways are increasingly serving not only the public interest, but a public need. I say we expand the Click Network and bring fiber directly to every TPU ratepayers home!

The partnership Click enjoys with local ISPs is what will bring the service into the black with no subsidies required. TPU has a history of being one of the best run utilities in the nation, providing extremely reliable services at reasonable rates. This is the focus of its administrators. The private sector entrepreneurs who provide Internet service though Click are focused on marketing and supporting their customers' needs on a one on one basis. If you phone them, they answer. They provide the personalized service the big guys like Comcast and Century Link cannot or will not. They keep jobs in our community. If anything, Click should consider turning the TV business over to the ISPs as well. Click does not know how to market services their customers want. The ISPs need to do this to stay in business. For TPU to try and remove them from the picture would be unconscionable, and would likely guarantee a loss for the utility as well as the folks who live and do business in Tacoma.

Come on Tacoma! Support a Click Network/ISP partnership that continues to provide the best local service anywhere!”

Rich Langsford, Tacoma WA