Draft of this year’s NC anti-municipal broadband bill (4th attempt by the cable company)

Here’s the draft of Senator Hoyle’s (D-Gaston) broadband bill for 2010.

It’s only a few paragraphs: doesn’t take long to read, but its effects would be substantial. Essentially, the State government would force local cities and towns to hold an election before borrowing money to build a community-owned broadband network. This will slow down broadband improvement in our state, and it runs counter to the FCC’s plans to improve Internet access.

Can you imagine holding an election when the cable company wants you to lose? They control the advertising due to decades-old monopolies.

The writers at Stop the Cap did a great job explaining what cable companies have done to other cities through expensive campaigns. There’s no way to have a fair election when the other side controls access to the media.

This bill will intimidate any and all NC communities, protect the cable monopolies and keep NC in its embarrassing 41st rank in broadband deployment nationally.

3 Responses

  1. Can you explain how this proposed legislation does what you say it’s going to do? I’m not reading something right here.

    • Sure, Aaron. Thanks for asking. Lines 11-14. “A unit of local government may not enter into a contract under this section to purchase, or finance or refinance the purchase of, property for use in an external communication system or to finance or refinance the construction or repair of fixtures or improvements for use in an external communication system.”

      The cable or phone company would fill advertising slots to sway the vote. They control the advertising world. This has happened several times in the US. The campaign in Geneva, Illinois a few years ago is a good example of what cities would be up against. This link from DSL reports has some good information. http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/27094

  2. The bill was introduced yesterday. It is S 1209. Link is here:
    http://ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2009&BillID=S1209

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