Monopoly protection bill comes up again this Wednesday (Apr. 21)

Just when you think the anti-municipal broadband bills have finally faded away, another one comes along. Long story short, the bills (which have been reconstituted several times since they were born in 2007) sandbag cities and towns in NC and effectively kill any future municipal broadband deployment. They were created in partnership with the cable company and their effect is to protect the company’s monopolies. You want cable? One place to get it. Don’t want dial-up or DSL? You have one choice.

For the full story, check out this post from Jay Ovittore from our friends at Stop the Cap!

Here’s a segment:

North Carolina’s incumbent cable and phone companies are once again trying to ram through an anti-municipal broadband bill, and their timing is designed to rush it through committee before a groundswell of consumer opposition has a chance to build.  Time is short — the bill will be taken up April 21st in the Revenue Laws Study Committee, so your immediate action is imperative!

This year’s push for anti-consumer legislation comes courtesy of Senator Daniel G. Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg County).

He reportedly wants a moratorium on all municipal broadband deployments on the alleged basis that these are bad for the private sector and will harm state tax revenue.  Hello?  Virtually every municipal broadband project underway fuels job creation as crews work to install the fiber optic networks that will come to represent an economic catalyst and job creator.  When communities no longer have to turn away digital economy jobs lost because of inadequate broadband by existing providers, that’s an economic victory for hard-pressed North Carolina, where unemployment is at 11.2 percent these days — 10th worst in the country.

If you’re available Wednesday morning at 9:30, we’ll be in the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, Room 544.

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