Incumbents would no longer have their cake and eat it, too...
For many years, we were one of the only websites talking about the fact that phone companies were writing, lobbying for and passing state laws that banned your town and city from wiring itself with broadband, even
if those same companies refused to serve you. What people in those communities wanted was deemed irrelevant.
Then came Philly's Wi-Fi project and their very public run-in with Verizon
, after which the mainstream media attention forced these companies to quiet their efforts somewhat (and play dumb
before Congress). Yet, some states (such as North Carolina
) are still passing these bills at the behest of the phone companies.
A bipartisan bill proposed this week by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) would overrule these state-level bans (14 so far) on municipal broadband deployment. Dubbed the Community Broadband Act of 2007, the bill also contains safeguards to ensure municipalities cannot discriminate against private providers.
"It is no surprise that building out broadband to such areas is a low priority for cable and telephone service providers, but that reality does not make broadband any less essential to the lives of unserved rural residents. If the commercial broadband providers are not willing to deploy in particular areas, local governments should be able to step in and fill the gap."
Here are links to the bill itself
, Boucher's floor statement
and the press release
(all in pdf format).