No, the city only provides the pipe, an ISP provides the actual internet service.
The city IS the ISP. Lmgtfy: here: "SandyNet is the Internet Service Provider owned by the people of Sandy and operated as a public service by the City of Sandy." Now tell me again how the city only owns the pipes. Tell my how ANY municipal ISP service "only provides the pipes". If they only provide the pipes, they aren't an ISP -- BY DEFINITION.
There is a monopoly on the infrastructure. No other cable companies are allowed to run lines to each house, only the one that the government has selected.
First, there are other ways to get internet than "cable television wire". Second, the only reason the government has "selected" just one cable television company is because only one cable television company applied for a franchise.
If you are so against government, why do you support a government-enforced cable monopoly?
I don't, because there isn't.
No, they don't need to break even, but they can.
Whether they can or nor depends on how many subs paying how much money they can get. The NEED not to break even is a fact. That fact means they can, and probably will, operate at below true cost and create unfair competition with commercial suppliers that not only don't have the taxpayer general fund to dip into, have true shareholders that deserve a return on their investment.
They don't drive out competition, they encourage it.
Right. They encourage them to go bankrupt. You can't run a commercial ISP below cost, especially when part of your costs are paying a franchise fee to the city for access to the rights of way -- that the city doesn't have to pay, or pays to itself. YOU as an ISP give some percentage of your gross to the city, and the city, at worst, gives itself 5% of their gross. Where does your 5% wind up? Same pocket that the city's, and it isn't yours.
An open municipal network provides way more competition that currently exists because it lowers the barriers to entry for ISPs,
You have got to be joking. It increases the barriers to entry. If you know that you're going to have to charge a price for services that competes with a non-profit taxpayer backed service that can operate at a loss, you're not going to try. Your barrier is now the fight you'll have to make to get any subscribers, and a need to make a profit.
I'm not one of the people who rail against Walmart, they were able to put mom and pops out of business because mom and pops are mostly inefficient.
Good. You're consistent, at least. Now suppose that Walmart came into town and operated that new store at a huge loss just to force Mom and Pop out. They can do that for a bit of time, using profits from other places to shore up that operation. Would you be so forgiving of Walmart if they did that?
If you are in favor of healthy competition you should be in favor of municipal networks.
The world of 1984 and Ministry of Truth has arrived.