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CenturyLink: How Dare Cities Challenge The Laws We Paid For
by Karl Bode 06:48PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
CenturyLink, formerly Qwest, has spent much of its life suing community broadband efforts that might spur the company to improve its service offerings. They've also written (via draft legislation) and paid-to-pass legislation in numerous states that restrict or outright ban a community from deploying its own broadband infrastructure -- even in cases when CenturyLink couldn't be bothered to.

With cities like Wilson, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennesee now pushing the FCC to void bills that were written by CenturyLink lawyers and exist solely to protect CenturyLink revenues (at the cost of local citizen rights), CenturyLink is handing out lectures on responsible ethics. According to CenturyLink, Wilson really isn't playing fair:
quote:
"CenturyLink currently is able to serve 96% of the homes in our North Carolina service area with high-speed Internet. We feel that with the passage of HB129, the North Carolina General Assembly has outlined a clear pathway for cities to build municipal networks with specific consumer protections. This law puts the decision of whether to incur debt into the hands of the citizens, and is similar to the ways that municipalities allow the citizens to decide whether to build schools or improve roads. The City of Wilson is simply trying to bypass their citizens, governor, legislature, and state policy."
Of course in typical lawyer and lobbyist "up is down" fashion, CenturyLink insists a bill they paid for that strips away local rights -- somehow puts rights back into the hands of the locals. Apparently, CenturyLink can bribe throw money via SuperPAC at public officials to pass laws CenturyLink wrote, but a city urging the FCC to block bills that hinder the FCC's mission to ensure broadband is deployed "in a reasonable timely basis" is just going way too far.

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bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
Reviews:
·Wave Broadband
·CenturyLink

1 recommendation

CenturyStink

CenturyStink is nearly as anti-competitive as Concast. I'm glad I dumped them, and I will do anything to not support either of those greedy corporations. Every one of these articles I see about CenturyStink just re-enforces those feelings.

PS, CenturyLink: 1.5Mbps doesn't count as "high-speed internet". It's the next step up from Satellite or Dial-up.

telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

Looks Like it's Tme for CenturyLink to Break out the "Spooky" Fliers

Click for full size
It once worked for Comcast:

Comcast Used This 'Spooky' Propaganda to Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor
By Jason Koebler, MotherBoard - July 28, 2014
»motherboard.vice.com/read/the-fl···mpetitor
Banger

join:2014-07-22
Sturgeon Bay, WI

Re: Looks Like it's Tme for CenturyLink to Break out the "Spooky" Fliers

That was in 2001. Broadband was just a little baby that the majority of people had no clue about. The majority of people were just moving from dial up. And the amount of people owning internet connected devices was hardly a blip to what it is today. So I doubt the same scare tactics would work. In fact with more and more people aware I just don't see it happening.

telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

1 recommendation

Re: Looks Like it's Tme for CenturyLink to Break out the "Spooky" Fliers

said by Banger:

That was in 2001. Broadband was just a little baby that the majority of people had no clue about.

Actually, the article states it was the Fall of 2004 [not to be picky about that ].

However, in the 10 years since, the disinformation/tactics employed haven't changed much:
quote:
To be clear, the "facts" cited on these postcards are exaggerated and at times outright false. The companies cite case studies of municipal fiber programs that later ended up being successful, or cite programs that died because of telecom interference and lobbying in other states; they cite figures that are worst-case scenarios that would occur only if literally zero people in the cities signed up for municipal broadband.

"All the subscribers got these extraordinary fliers. Ghosts, goblins, witches. I mean, this is about a broadband utility. Very scary stuff. This is real. This is comical, but this is very real," Catharine Rice of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice said of the fliers at an event discussing municipal fiber earlier this year. "They have this amazing picture, and then they lie about what happened. They're piling in facts that aren't true."

Lebanon, Ohio, for instance, wasn't a failed experiment in municipal broadband. Rice says that Time Warner lobbied the state legislature there to make a law preventing the city from expanding the service beyond the county it was in, ruining the city's stated business plan. After 12 years of mostly successful operation, the city sold the infrastructure to another telecom company.

catchingup

@135.23.225.x

1 recommendation

said by Banger:

So I doubt the same scare tactics would work. In fact with more and more people aware I just don't see it happening.

IMO you underestimate just how clueless and stupid the general populace is.

cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
Uh hometown utilicom in Kutztown PA fails because the fastest speed is 10/8 mbps for $85. Cable provider Service Electric can get you 35/3 for $66 or 100/5 for $110. Plus there's more HD channels on Service Electric. So some of these "failed" systems in this flyer may be failures because they are horribly underutilized.

jchambers28

join:2007-05-12
Alma, AR

2 recommendations

Upgrade your Fu**ing network

Upgrade your Fu**ing network. Lets see cox 100Mbps vs Centurylink 10 Mbps. Yeah.
verta

join:2007-05-29
Tallahassee, FL

Re: Upgrade your Fu**ing network

This. Seriously. I'm lucky, I scored one of those wireless unlimited plans back when and kept it. Realized CLink was never going to upgrade me. Just stick on a dollar fee extra every year of course but no speed increase at any rate level. Turned off the DSL and haven't looked back.
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ
Reviews:
·Vonage

2 recommendations

Nazi

"Century no link" can't afford what the people want since there too busy hiring and paying lawyers that act like the Gestapo..

ev

@74.140.91.x

Centuries

Boys and girls, you simply don't understand -- these unmaintained unshielded pairs were originally designed by teams of scientists to stand up to Russian ICBMs. The copper's good until 2114, at least...
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

1 recommendation

Puh-lease

Somehow I doubt any city is going to pay to wire themselves if CenturyLink is covering 96% of residents with fiber. There would be no point in wasting money on passing a law outlawing public competition. Oh you mean high speed is really just 768 kbps or 1.5 Mbps? Now it all makes sense.
--
The harvest is nigh past, the summer is nigh ended. Are you saved? bibleprophecytruth.com
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Puh-lease

Most cities that have their acts together and know how care for their residents won't issue bonds and spend tax payer money for a FTTH network when they could be issuing those bonds for a new fire truck or EMS.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Puh-lease

You mean most cities that have no clue about broadband and/or are in bed with their incumbent will not take the needed step to improve the situation for their residents.

Any place that can't get at minimum 45/45mbps should be looking into doing a muni run system for the betterment of their people and it would be disservice for their elected officials to ignore that.
political_i

join:2013-11-12
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Charter

If you Don't want the laws challenged:

Then actually offer a decent service let's say I don't know, something on the way of cable for an affordable price like Google and other municipalities do, then you wouldn't have to worry about it.

Even then, it does not permit the competition that a regulated capitalism should provide.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: If you Don't want the laws challenged:

but how can you challenge something at an agency that has no legal powers - let alone is not part of the legal system.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Bully for them!

We have far too much government as it is, and it is patently unfair to tax your neighbor for your broadband desires rather than pay your own way.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Bully for them!

The FCC has no control over the states though, let alone over actual laws.

TKJunkMail
Premium
join:2005-12-09

1 recommendation

Thank you, oh great one, for your gift of wisdom.

/SARC

catchingup

@135.23.225.x

4 recommendations

said by elray:

We have far too much government as it is, and it is patently unfair to tax your neighbor for your broadband desires rather than pay your own way.

People already pay for lots of things they don't necessarily use via taxes. This is a typical selfish me me me attitude of Americans.

PlusOne

@66.249.83.x

-4 recommendations

said by elray:

We have far too much government as it is, and it is patently unfair to tax your neighbor for your broadband desires rather than pay your own way.

+1

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
"We have far too much government as it is"

Boy,
That's the under statement of the decade!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by elray:

We have far too much government as it is, and it is patently unfair to tax your neighbor for your broadband desires rather than pay your own way.

Ridiculous.
Broadband pays for itself and then some. Why do you think so many private companies are fighting for this revenue stream...
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Right and it unfair that I pay school taxes for schools I don't use and I pay for a gas tax that fixes roads I will never travel on and I pay sales taxes on products that simply goes to providing services and benefits to companies that I will never buy from.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Bully for them!

said by Skippy25:

Right and it unfair that I pay school taxes for schools I don't use and I pay for a gas tax that fixes roads I will never travel on and I pay sales taxes on products that simply goes to providing services and benefits to companies that I will never buy from.

Indeed, it is unfair, not only to you, but to society, that we pay school taxes even if we do not have children who attend. The concept of public education is an abysmal failure, precisely because it is government-based - it costs triple the private model, and produces ... nothing.

We could debate the merits of compulsory education - there is certainly an argument for a societal benefit if children are educated, but that isn't happening in the public sector, and unless we're looking to prop up birthrates, there is no reason it has to be "free" for all.

And you're right on the gas tax - it shouldn't be funding roads. The roads should be paid by usage fees, i.e. tolls, and they certainly don't have to be government-based.

Likewise for sales taxes.

Glad to see we agree for once.

My point is that virtually everything done privately, for-profit, is inevitably fairer, cheaper, and most importantly, optional to the consumer, while the government model is a bloated, inefficient monopoly with guns that doesn't have to deliver its service.

There might be a few exceptions on either side, but overall, we'd be much stronger as a nation if people were allowed to decide for themselves how to spend their money, rather than have their neighbors decide for them.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Bully for them!

You took my message wrong as we certainly are not in agreement.

Somethings need to be done for the betterment of society and your true love (businesses). Maintaining roads and public schools are just a couple of them. Your stupid rant how horrible they are and how all roads should be tolls are just plain stupid.

I assume you have some scientific study to support the stupidity of your claim that shows virtually all things done privately for profit is inevitably fairer and cheaper. I wont address the optional stuff because in many, if not most, cases that is not true. We may have an option to not buy a car or not buy a way to communicate with the world other than pigeon carrier and face to face but that does not make it truly optional. So much of what you say the private sector gives us as "optional" is a farce.
Expand your moderator at work

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA

1 recommendation

Yeah! Let's trust the corporations to educate! How about we leave all our children, infrastructure, and government in the Koch Brothers' hands! Woot!!!!1!1!!!1!!!
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Bully for them!

Sounds good to me!
Expand your moderator at work
kinda pissed

join:2012-06-06
Newsoms, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Bully for them!

said by elray:

Sounds good to me!

Why would u want to leave your children's future in the hands of people who care about nothing but personal profit?
System This topic has been closed. Reason: run its course

Buttcheeks

@144.160.226.x

Wilson's Greenlight FTTH

The city of Wilson already has their own municipal FTTH system called Greenlight that delivers 1Gps Internet, TV, and Voip.

PlusOne

@66.249.83.x

FCC hasn't the authority to block state laws

FCC hasn't the authority to block state laws. All the jockeying back and forth means nothing. All it is doing is making lawyers richer lobbying.

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

Re: FCC hasn't the authority to block state laws

said by PlusOne :

FCC hasn't the authority to block state laws

You sure?

»www.fcc.gov/document/statement-f···et-rules

The D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC has the legal authority to issue enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness. It affirmed that Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of1996 gives the FCC authority to encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removingbarriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: FCC hasn't the authority to block state laws

Don't bring facts into this. He likes to hide behind false general over reaching statements.

hyphenated

@166.147.120.x

Thoughts

Has anyone thought municipal broadband not only might give more control to other individuals. Ie ISPs not monitoring content? Who knows?

Big ISPs say it fails but they don't mention it's actually because of them. But who to believe?

They will surely be required to provide faster internet to keep their system running, partly because of the hight data usage via online services, it's not getting any smaller. It's like transformers, "how did you learn that? Well world wide web" (Google! Lol) I have to say thanks to google, not for everything you do but just some things.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Thoughts

General rule is to follow the money.

If the big ISP's dont like it, it is because they are afraid of it. They certainly are not speaking out against it for "our good".

IF these were really that big of a failure then they would let it happen, let it fail and then get the network for pennies on the dollar.

Problem is, that is not the case and they know that 2 things will happen. 1.) Their inadequate networks will be showcased forcing them to upgrade 2.) They will have to actually compete to win consumers which means better service and better prices.

Ultimately, it is those 2 things that really scare the hell out of them.

w0g
o.O

join:2001-08-30
Springfield, OR

1 recommendation

this is non-sense.

if I was President I'd fucking stomp the incumbent businessman and force them out. I'm tired of their shit ways, sabotaging innovation and competition.

I'd pass the bill of rights 2 which would actually make anti-competition illegal. therefore laws banning competition and laws establishing a monopoly would be unconstitutional.

we would have had Fiber Optic cable deployed to each and every building 14+ years ago if it weren't for these companies ability to monopolize and prevent competition. here we are stuck with their shitty ass 1.5Mbps DSL shit, and pathetic cable infustructure with limits, and over compression of video, audio, and images, OH and we have anti-competitive caps because they seem to think they have a right to price gouge and restrict how people use the internet.

I'd basically take the first bill of rights 2 proposed by Roosevelt, make some improvements including right to enfettered free communication, right to compete, and other new laws, to prevent big business from taking a strange hold on the whole world as they've done. and as you know, big business is really just a few super elite rich people, running the world, preventing the people from getting by, preventing us from using anything but their for profit services and junk.
--
www.oregonstatehospital.net - CIA and state of Oregon set me up and targeted me with a microwave weapon, learn more.

Kommie
Premium
join:2003-05-13
united state
kudos:3

1 edit

Re: this is non-sense.

But then they will call you an Communist and the Chamber of Commerce will send an assassin after you.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

2 recommendations

I hate to break it to you but we already have laws that make anti-competition illegal. The problem is that we have lobbyist and politicians that don't enforce them.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

economic life or death

it's not too much of a coincidence that the recent economic data correlatets to job growth in the regions where broadband actually exists and is deployed. while it's still not the kind of jobs that are paying high wages.. at least there is job growth. the municipalities are figuring out that these metro areas don't want to be held back by this regulation which is essentially protectionism at their economic expense. this is probably where the political pressure is coming from.. not from the bought 20x over statehouses.. it's coming from the major metro areas where the majority of the population lives and finally is beginning to "work" again too..

•••

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Amazing!

I am amazed to learn from Karl that ONLY Century Link is on the "ban the Muni-broadband wagon". Maybe this is a new spin on FUD, but I seem to remember when AT&T and Comcast stopped a community in NE Illinois from doing the same a few years ago despite the fact the community voted it for it.

They all do the same because they can; there is no over-sight on the product delivered to the town, business or homes.

NO community in America, regardless of how small or how insignificant, or how isolated, should be without some type of communication -- even if it is only via microwave. Telephone companies have not forgotten how to do this, either, they just choose to be chintzy. .
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside