Connecting rural providers: ethernet to large city or nearby transit

Generic question.

Say you have a municipal provider in small town where the municipality
won the subsidy over the incumbent to deploy broadband.

The easiest is for the town's ISP to buy transit from the incumbent. But
incumbent will not be interested in offering competitive pricing.

As a sanity check, would a rural ISP come out ahead getting an ethernet
link to large city where cheaper transit is available as well as peering
to offload a lot of traffic,

or would buying transit at higher price locally end up being better ?

Is the difference between the two small, or orders of magnitudes cheaper
to go one way or the other ?

context: in order to provide affordable backhaul to towns, the CRTC
*might consider regulation. The Chairman used a key word today "market
failure" indicating they are ready to listen to arguments on this.

Get backhaul to somewhere useful. Do not buy from the incumbent.

We were in a similar situation, smaller rural (although in our case
private) provider making the choice between continuing to buy transit from
our neighbor (big ISP) whom we compete with in certain towns, or getting
~300 miles of backhaul to NYC and buying transit there. We came off
significantly ahead (10g protected wave + 10g IP transit for about the same
as 2g from the large ISP) going with backhaul.

It all comes down to who you have going through the area that can give you
backhaul. If the incumbent ISP is the only game in the area, then they
would be your backhaul provider, as buildout to a rural area would be
prohibitively expensive