A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case's Revolution Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective and FinTech Collective wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country. Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country. Underline, a community infrastructure company, began building its first open access fiber network in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last week.
"We aspire to be the country's first nationwide open access network," Thompson said. "The 2,500 communities have been ignored by the incumbents for years on significant infrastructure upgrades. And they generally won't qualify for the government's infrastructure bill."