HB282 in GA. I e-mailed my representative in the Georgia House. I will do the same for my Georgia State Legislature Senator when the Senate version of the bill is introduced.
e-mail to Georgia State representative:
I am writing to urge you to vote against the current form of HB282 Municipal Broadband Investment Act. The use of 1.5Mbps download speed as an acceptable benchmark is unacceptable. The FCC determined that 4Mbps second download was the absolute minimum speed that was to be used to define High Speed Internet(HSI) or broadband. For the bill to declare that municipalities cannot build their own internet access networks because one house within a census block can get 1.5Mbps download service is illogical. In the case of DSL service many of the people within that census block may not be able to get even 1.5Mbps due to signal attenuation based on how long their twisted pair copper telephone line is from the central office or Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer(DSLAM).
I can understand not wanting public utilities to unfairly compete with private sector Internet Service Providers, but HB 282 sets the bar way too low for preventing municipalities from constructing their own internet service network that could serve residential customers. The requirements of HB 282 should be changed to require that any DSL provider who challenges a city's decision to build their own internet access network must prove that ALL residences within ALL of a city's census blocks can reliably and consistently get a DSL service of 4Mbps download and 0.5Mbps upload. That is the minimum definition of broadband or HSI, taking into account the use of video downloads and uploads common to the use of the World Wide Web and internet today. Cable companies challenging a city's decision to build their own internet access network need to prove they have upgraded ALL geographic areas they serve in the municipal area to the DOCSIS 3.0 standard, are providing 8 downstream channel bonding and 4 upstream channel bonding to ALL areas, and that each downstream bonded channel is delivering at least 19Mbps and that each upstream bonded channel is delivering at least 13.5Mbps. These requirements would be only 50% of the actual performance capability of present day DOCSIS 3.0 equipment, so the requirements would be nowhere near a maximum effort.
If private ISPs do not want to have cities or public utilities compete against them, then they need to upgrade their networks to provide service to ALL those in Georgia who do not have wire-line broadband service choices. I know for a fact that AT&T does NOT provide HSI DSL to people on Maynard's Mill Road in Monroe County. The National Broadband Map referenced in HB282 may say they do, but the people I know who live on that road will tell you when they call for DSL service they are told AT&T cannot provide service in that area. There are no cable providers in that area. There are many areas of Houston county that cannot get even the 1.5Mbps DSL service stated in the present HB282, even though the National Broadband Map says that it is available to them.
HB282 needs to be changed significantly to reflect the reality of an inaccurate National Broadband Map, how video is used by internet service subscribers and content providers, and the effects of signal attenuation, due to copper wire-line distance, results in lower than advertised DSL speeds.
Thanks for your time.