Recently in NC, when discussing broadband development of any kind, the discussion comes around to the which city Google chooses for their super fast Internet Broadband effort. Over 600 communities have applied to be that city, and several of them are in North Carolina.
So whichever city Google chooses, that means that 599 other cities won't get the Super Fast Google Internet development project. Even if NC gets it, it will only be one city. What about all the cities that won't get it?
Will some of those cities decide to launch their own municipal broadband projects as a way to attract businesses (and jobs) and make their city more livable? Maybe? Yes?
Why would the North Carolina General Assembly pass a law that outlaws municipal broadband projects?
Apparently they would pass such a law because Time Warner Cable and AT&T have been busy "lobbying" our state assembly.
If municipalities can no longer build broadband projects to increase the speed and quality of the Internet in their communities, then communities will have to rely on someone else to build up that infrastructure on that someone else's timeline and for the benefit of someone else's pocketbook. The someone else who would be sitting pretty on their monopolies with municipal broadband outlawed? Oh yeah. Time Warner Cable and AT&T.
The state Senate committee is voting on this tomorrow.
If you're in NC, please call the committee members to express your outrage that they would even consider trying to regulate how a local community manages their broadband projects.
Sen. Daniel Gray Clodfelter (co-chair): (919) 715-8331
Sen. Daniel T. Blue, Jr.: (919) 733-5752
Sen. Peter Samuel Brunstetter: (919) 733-7850
Sen. Fletcher Lee Hartsell, Jr.: (919) 733-7223
Sen. David W. Hoyle: (919) 733-5734
Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins: (919) 715-3040
Sen. Josh Stein: (919) 715-6400
Sen. Jerry W. Tillman: (919) 733-5870
We want and deserve the freedom to create our own municipal broadband networks.
Please read and rec this excellent diary from highacidity!
Important information from that diary courtesy of highacidity:
To keep everyone in the dark about the benefits of fiber Internet, the big telecoms are planning to introduce legislation in the N.C. State Senate's Revenue Laws Study Committee tomorrow, imposing a "moratorium" on municipal broadband projects. The telecoms' argue that these projects hurt the state tax revenue: a dubious claim at best.
Here's where YOU come in! We need folks to be at this meeting to show that broadband Internet is important to our state. That broadband is too important to our economy to cede to the whims of monopolies. Like the public roads that nurture brick-and-mortar businesses, municipal broadband Internet can be the lifeblood of local economies.
If you'd like to take part, the meeting will take place in the N.C. Legislative Office Building, room 544 on Wednesday, April 21st at 9:30 AM. Come early to get a seat and bring a friend if you'd like. You don't have to speak: just you're being there will make the case.
[source: an email from the Google for Raleigh group leader]