Entries Matching: Municipal Wi-Fi
The ill-considered bill in Georgia that would have prevented local communities from investing in their own broadband networks was defeated last night, and this is great news.
The problem with fighting extremely bad corporate-sponsored legislation is that it has a distressing tendency to re-emerge time and again long after a human being would have gotten a clue and gone away. So it is with the fight by corporate carriers against local governments providing any sort of broadband. Most of us thought this fight over about 5 years ago, when the majority of carriers realized that municipal networks not only were not a threat, but were potential customers.
So now we’ve had National Broadband Plan Day!. And, despite undeniable flaws and places where the Plan Drafters wussed out/”avoided controversy,” The Plan looks pretty damn good, actually.
Let me stress that: Pretty . . . Damn . . . Good!
As reported by Christopher Mitchel from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Qwest has scored quite the little victory in its efforts to keep itself (and the good people it serves in Minnesota) from the evil socialist menace known as "local government providing broadband when the incumbent does a lousy job."
Apparently,MN State Senator Bakk and MN State Rep Dill introduced a bill that would have made it easier to for local governments to build municipal networks. Right now, it takes a local referendum vote with 65% to authorize a locality to build a network that offers commercial telephone service (and therefore any "triple play" broadband access service -- or so they read it in MN).
Ya know, if my state got a grant for $24.5 million to build out broadband networks in underserved areas, I would jump for joy. But I'm not in the Maine legislature, so what do I know?
Last month, NTIA gave Great Works internet in Maine $24.5 million toward a fiber optic network. The grant is a classic public/private partnership for a middle mile project that includes, among others the University of Maine.
Fairpoint, Maine's primary rural LEC, has objected to this "undue competition with the private sector." This would be funny, given how Fairpoint has become the poster child for the failure of the private sector to deliver on its big promises to rural communities. But Fairpoint's talking points have ended up in legislation filed by Maine State Senator Lisa Marrache (D-Waterville) and Maine State Rep.