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Cable Lobbyists Say They'll 'Tweak' Kansas Broadband Bill
by Karl Bode 08:49AM Monday Feb 03 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
In response to mounting pressure from consumers and companies like Alcatel Lucent and Google, cable lobbyists in Kansas say they'll "tweak" a protectionist bill written by the cable industry that would make it more difficult (if not impossible) for towns and competitors to improve broadband in the state. The bill raises barriers for broadband improvement in "unserved" portions of the State, but then proceeds to define unserved quite broadly -- as in anywhere there's not satellite broadband or wireless connectivity.

Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica notes that the bill was written and presented by the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association (KCTA), whose members include Cox, Time Warner Cable, and Eagle Communications. KCTA tells Ars they'll "tweak" the bill's unserved locations language, but denies the bill has anything to do with Google Fiber or a specific cable company's interests (Time Warner Cable competes with Google Fiber in Kansas City, Kansas):
quote:
"Google was never mentioned one time as our board deliberated on whether to move forward with this legislation," he said. "This bill has nothing to do with Google." Because of a grandfather clause, the bill would only affect future broadband networks rather than ones that already exist. When asked if the bill was driven by any particular cable company, Federico reiterated that it was "discussed by the board of directors and they decided to move forward with it."
More than a dozen states have passed such bills at incumbent ISP request, banning towns and cities (and often small competitors) from upgrading state infrastructure -- even in cases where the incumbent ISPs have repeatedly refused to.

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Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

1 recommendation

Lobbyists will tweak the bill?

I'm sorry, I might have been mistaken, but I thought it was the legislators' job to create and modify legislation. Why is a lobbyist modifying a bill? Why do they "deliberate on whether to move forward with this legislation"? What do we pay legislators for if the lobbyists are doing all of the work?
--
-Jason Levine
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Lobbyists will tweak the bill?

Yes, it's the lobbyists who wrote the bill. We live in a world where lobbyists run (some) things.

dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk

2 edits
Legislators are absolutely needed. They have to approve the lobbyist bills. That is until the lobbyist figure out how to bribe the president directly so he/she can make executive decisions.

Once done this should save taxpayers a little bit of tax money since the House and Senate can be officially dissolved.
toejam

join:2013-06-14
San Jose, CA

Re: Lobbyists will tweak the bill?

they do seem to be like middlemen...
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Lobbyists will tweak the bill?

It's put on hold as of today...

»www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/b···e_search

quote:
The bill was scheduled for a Tuesday hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee, but the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association now is asking that action be postponed.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Re: Lobbyists will tweak the bill?

But, again, it's the KCTA that's making this request. At no point in this discussion have we heard from actual legislators beyond the fact that they are moving when the KCTA yanks on the strings.
--
-Jason Levine
kshusker

join:2009-10-12

Polishing a turd...

Only "tweak" that would fix this awful bill is to throw it in the trash.
phazah

join:2004-05-02
Findlay, OH

Re: Polishing a turd...

amen....

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

Not worth the paper it's written on ...

No amount of "tweaking" will hide the fact that this bill, written by the Cable Mafia's lobbyists, is a self-serving attempt to prevent competition, and maintain the ridiculous high-price cash cow that the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association (KCTA), whose members include Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, and Time Warner Cable, currently enjoy thanks to "generous" campaign contributions by those same lobbyists to the current Kasas State Legislature.
kornfan4evr

join:2006-01-31
Manteca, CA

This is competition?

Thanks, Wheeler!

Chanute KS

@ncican.org

Telecom Lobby Backs Down from Bad Broadband Bill; But are Cities Safe?

"Every part of this bill needs to go away, not rewritten, "said Larry Gates, City of Chanute Utility Director. Read on...
»www.chanute.org/DocumentCenter/View/1519

marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2

Legislative hearings cancelled.

The legislative hearings on the bill scheduled for today have been cancelled. Not postponed, cancelled.