Utilities like electric companies, gas companies, water companies, garbage companies, phone companies, and cable companies in most places have a government-granted monopoly, what the law calls a "de jure monopoly." The government grants them because of the high cost of infrastructure and the burden of infrastructure on the public. For example, just like it would be cost prohibitive for competing gas companies or competing water companies to all run their own pipes throughout a city so that there could be competing gas companies and water companies, the same is true for phone companies and phone lines and cable companies and cable lines, and along with that, the city and the city's residents don't want all those lines uglying up their city. More than all of that, though, is COST. All that costs money, money that would roll down to customers. If it weren't for the de jure monopolies in the infrastructure intense utilities, the cost of building and maintaining redundant infrastructures for each competing company throughout the city would make the cost go so high that no company could afford to provide the service at a price that residents could afford. Without the de jure monopolies, there'd be no utilities at all. No company could afford to wire an entire city for cable and broadband only to have to compete with however many other companies selling cable and broadband. So the deal is, if they sink the millions and million of dollars into building all of that infrastructure though out the city so that it reaches every single home and business, the local government guarantees they won't have to compete. If the local government refuses to offer that, then no cable/broadband company will build and maintain all of that infrastructure throughout the city because it's not cost effective. And once they build it, that's theirs. The city can't say, "Yeah, well, you spent 10 billion dollars wiring our entire city for broadband and cable, but now we're going to take what you built and paid for and give it to this other company who says they'll do it for cheaper." First, it's not the city's to take. Second, if it were, of course they'd say that because they won't have to build 10 billion dollars of infrastructure but would have it handed to them.