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Georgia's Ridiculous Anti-Broadband Bill Moves Forward
Despite Criticism From Locals, Industry Giants
by Karl Bode 12:34PM Monday Mar 04 2013
A controversial bill concocted by AT&T, Windstream and CenturyLink to prevent communities from wiring themselves with broadband continues to move forward, despite heavy criticism from both locals and industry. The bill initially banned any town or city from deploying its own broadband services if just one user in a zip code had a line capable of 1.5 Mbps. Despite a significant public outcry and opposition from companies like Alcatel Lucent and Google, the bill has passed the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications subcommittee and now heads to the Georgia House floor.

A few minor changes were made to successfully ram the bill through, including raising the speed bar from 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps, and exempting any town or city from the bill that runs its own power utility than might want to get into broadband. Still, the bill is crafted by incumbents and acts as pure monopoly protectionism, saddling towns and cities trying to shore up broadband gaps with the Sisyphean and costly requirement of trying to disprove inaccurate carrier mapping data:
quote:
A substitute bill [PDF] was introduced that exempts communities with municipal electric utilities from the prohibtion to provide telecommunications. Additionally, the bill's definition of "broadband service" is now defined as service equal to or greater than 3.0 Mbps. "in the faster direction." While these look like compromises at first blush, they do very little to change the real world application of the bill.

Our earlier analysis of the bill addressed the fact that the expense and time required to prove locations of unserved areas as defined by the bill, would foreclose the possibility of communities making investments in this essential infrastructure. Likewise, communities that already have networks would be similarly burdened.
3 Mbps still doesn't even meet the FCC's base definition for broadband and, despite the "improvements," the bill is still a simple protectionist play by the state's largest incumbent carriers. Again, these efforts would not exist if incumbent carriers were meeting the demands of local residents. AT&T is moving to disconnect DSL lines and Windstream is preparing to halt network upgrades due to a lack of competition. The companies don't want to wire under-served towns -- yet they want to make it illegal for your town to serve itself.

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Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

1 recommendation

Goooooooo FAKE CAPITALISM!

.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Re: Goooooooo FAKE CAPITALISM!

said by Bill Neilson:

.

Lol, your subject says it all... TY for being awake

Anon Coward

@wipp.ws

Loopholes!

Offer municipal broadband service of 3Mbps fiber, for say $40/mo and then additional services of 3Mbps for 10cents each after that (up to 332 additional services ).
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

side step the law then!

the community deploys sub 1.5mbit fiber on paper and then provisions it for 20mbit....

effectively they are not breaking the rules because they are not selling broadband, People just happen to be getting it...
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

AnonMe

@comcastbusiness.net

What the hell is wrong with politicians??

Why are ridiculous things like this even considered? Why would a state even consider hearing a bill like this? What is the advantage to the state?

Non-sense!!

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Re: What the hell is wrong with politicians??

said by AnonMe :

Why are ridiculous things like this even considered? Why would a state even consider hearing a bill like this? What is the advantage to the state?

Non-sense!!

No advantage to the state. The advantage goes to the politicians when the ATT/Windstream/Cenrury link contributions roll in next campaign/election cycle.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

YukonHawk

join:2001-01-07
Patterson, NY
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by AnonMe :

Why are ridiculous things like this even considered? Why would a state even consider hearing a bill like this? What is the advantage to the state?

Non-sense!!

They should be called Pocketians!!
cableman0327

join:2004-10-10
Westminster, MD

WTF

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...
guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Re: WTF

said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

Are you serious? Georgia is a red a state as you can ever find, its a 100% Republican run state that's pushing through the good-ole-boy legislation

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: WTF

said by guppy_fish:

said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

Are you serious? Georgia is a red a state as you can ever find, its a 100% Republican run state that's pushing through the good-ole-boy legislation

Don't you know? Blaming Obama is the status quo for everything.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
said by guppy_fish:

Georgia is a red a state

Thank you.
wowgirl22

join:2011-12-30
Cornelia, GA
It's politics as usual...it's not who you know, but who you...

Moropo
Premium
join:2002-07-28
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
·America Online
said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

As guppy_fish put it, wtf are you talking about?? If anything blame it on the republicans watching out for the money of big corps.
--
math PhD student (University of Miami)

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: WTF

You must be blind or a liberal if you think democrats don't do the same thing.
desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI

Re: WTF

said by Metatron2008:

You must be blind or a liberal if you think democrats don't do the same thing.

That doesn't exactly state the affiliation of anyone involved.

Blind Sheep

@cinergy.com
»www.fiercecable.com/story/north-···10-05-27

Here is a perfect example of the Democrates doing the same thing.

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO
iirc the guy that put his name to this has an R in front of it both sides are at fault
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

When the government "competes", using tax money, against the very entities they sold franchises to, it isn't a free and fair market.

This bill just ensures that these markets remain competitive, rather than allowing local politicians to play Santa, with our money, and bankrupt the incumbents. It doesn't prohibit another broadband firm, CLEC or overbuilder, only munis.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: WTF

Versus private companies that 'compete' using paid for politicians and taxpayer money?

What exactly is the difference?
elray

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

Re: WTF

Politicians are "paid for" by any and all interest groups.

There is nothing that prevents the public from outspending the corporations, unions, or other special-interest groups for any given issue.

The difference with private companies, is that they aren't authorized to steal directly from the taxpayer without end, in order to fund their Santa Claus campaign; the risk is placed on their investors, not the public.

They deliver a service based on actual demand, not as a political payoff.

BB4all

@gapublicweb.net

Re: WTF

elray, you are apparently a shill for the large telcos. Georgia forbids cross-subsidization of tax dollars from one purpose to fund municipal broadband. Municipals are required to acquire and maintain CLEC certification and to report to the PSC to ensure that funding for broadband services is fair and appropriate. Your argument of misappropriation of constituent tax dollars is specious and old. You make it sound reasonable, but it simply isn't, in fact.
elray

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

Re: WTF

Not a shill in any respect. If you bother to read my posts, you'll note that I regularly critique the incumbents. I protest munis because they only interfere with the marketplace, and they do so with tax money - MY money, and I have no say in the matter.

With the private companies, I have a choice not to pay them, or typically, if they're truly so profitable, buy some of their stock, and use the dividends from their "greed" to pay my bill.

Every state has laws that "forbid cross-subsidization of tax dollars" - and within each and every state, there are a dozen ways for the politicians to do it anyway.

The only defense against the theft is to not allow them to open up yet another department that we don't need or want.
Montezuma

join:2009-11-15
said by elray:

said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

When the government "competes", using tax money, against the very entities they sold franchises to, it isn't a free and fair market.

This bill just ensures that these markets remain competitive, rather than allowing local politicians to play Santa, with our money, and bankrupt the incumbents. It doesn't prohibit another broadband firm, CLEC or overbuilder, only munis.

"Competitive markets", huh? You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. AT&T is the only provider where I live(one of the many counties in the Metro Atlanta Area), and it doesn't offer DSL, Uverse, or any other, reasonably priced broadband solution. So, spare me your "free market" bullshit.

AT&T continues to rake in a lot of money from me, for shitty cellular service(which doesn't work around my home) and shitty POTS service, including USFs from me, and all other residents in my county with service, but we haven't reaped the benefit of these fees and taxes(yes, the USF is a tax). I want to see improvements for my investment, not EDGE and POTS.

So, until AT&T starts doing its job, I will gladly support community broadband projects. While I greatly dislike government intervention in most areas, outside of its intended purpose(enforcement of constitutionally-authorized and narrow areas of interest), I have no issue with government correcting corporate greed/shortcomings, when said corporations receive enormous amounts of taxpayer funds.
elray

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

Re: WTF

said by Montezuma:

"Competitive markets", huh? You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. AT&T is the only provider where I live(one of the many counties in the Metro Atlanta Area), and it doesn't offer DSL, Uverse, or any other, reasonably priced broadband solution. So, spare me your "free market" bullshit.

AT&T's cellular service, and your choice to purchase it, is not germane to this discussion. There are other options.

In the realm of wired broadband, your market is competitive.
Just because you don't like the price:performance ratio doesn't mean those prices or the service is unreasonable, and you DO have a choice.

Introducing a government-based broadband entity would only increase the average cost of service, while hiding that cost as it is shifted to the taxpayer.

No thanks.
GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Re: WTF

said by elray:

said by Montezuma:

"Competitive markets", huh? You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. AT&T is the only provider where I live(one of the many counties in the Metro Atlanta Area), and it doesn't offer DSL, Uverse, or any other, reasonably priced broadband solution. So, spare me your "free market" bullshit.

In the realm of wired broadband, your market is competitive.
Just because you don't like the price:performance ratio doesn't mean those prices or the service is unreasonable, and you DO have a choice.

Uh no, it's not. In the realm of wired broadband, you have exactly ONE choice of provider in many metro counties, and that's AT&T. For DSL only, and if you're lucky you can get a whopping 3mb for $43/mo!

I'd really like to see what your definition of 'competitive market' is for wired broadband. If you want to trot out the tired line that anyone can come in and build, sure, go ahead. But that's not reality and you know it.
elray

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

Re: WTF

said by GTFan:

Uh no, it's not. In the realm of wired broadband, you have exactly ONE choice of provider in many metro counties, and that's AT&T. For DSL only, and if you're lucky you can get a whopping 3mb for $43/mo!

I'd really like to see what your definition of 'competitive market' is for wired broadband. If you want to trot out the tired line that anyone can come in and build, sure, go ahead. But that's not reality and you know it.

It is, indeed. If your rates are so high as to be uber-profitable, and yet, you are willing to pay them, then "greed" will attract another vendor - the market is most definitely competitive.

But the "reality" is that $43/month is NOT high, in fact, its below the national average. Unless you and your neighbors are again, willing to pay substantially more for "better broadband", it ain't gonna happen.

The government isn't going to deliver service at a lower cost, they're just going to send most of the bill to "someone else", in order to buy favor with the electorate.

If you want a "community" network, form a coop - you can even float a local parcel tax or use bond financing, provided such is put to a supermajority vote of those who would pay it.
Montezuma

join:2009-11-15
said by elray:

said by Montezuma:

"Competitive markets", huh? You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. AT&T is the only provider where I live(one of the many counties in the Metro Atlanta Area), and it doesn't offer DSL, Uverse, or any other, reasonably priced broadband solution. So, spare me your "free market" bullshit.

AT&T's cellular service, and your choice to purchase it, is not germane to this discussion. There are other options.

In the realm of wired broadband, your market is competitive.
Just because you don't like the price:performance ratio doesn't mean those prices or the service is unreasonable, and you DO have a choice.

Introducing a government-based broadband entity would only increase the average cost of service, while hiding that cost as it is shifted to the taxpayer.

No thanks.

I have wireless service because I choose to. The coverage at my home isn't that important, as that isn't the reason I have wireless service. My point is that isn't an excuse for continued bad service from AT&T, as there has been enough time to correct existing coverage problems.

I have zero landline broadband options. Zero. No AT&T, Comcast, or any other provider. The vast majority of just my county doesn't qualify for service from land-based ISPs, so stop posting further nonsense on an issue you don't understand.
elray

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

Re: WTF

said by Montezuma:

I have wireless service because I choose to. The coverage at my home isn't that important, as that isn't the reason I have wireless service. My point is that isn't an excuse for continued bad service from AT&T, as there has been enough time to correct existing coverage problems.

I have zero landline broadband options. Zero. No AT&T, Comcast, or any other provider. The vast majority of just my county doesn't qualify for service from land-based ISPs, so stop posting further nonsense on an issue you don't understand.

I will continue to challenge folks like you who apparently don't understand economics; if you don't have a "land-based ISP" option, that's a result of your unwillingness or disinterest in paying the freight - we've well established on this forum, for a decade, that AT&T and Comcast are "greedy" and will gladly provide the service, if profitable.

FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom
said by cableman0327:

Who the hell do these people think they are? what happen to free, fair market? oh that's right we're under the OOObama administration...

These bills started under the Bush administration. With that being said, I don't see the difference between the two, just giving your people the illusion of choice, while "both parties", are working for the same oligarchy. Both the Democrats and the Republicans would have shut down any public alternative to corporate fleecing as long as the right people got brib... lobb.. "golfed"
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
Everyone can relax. The Georgia House defeated the bill.
»www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regi···n/nWkj2/
--
Senate - get off your butts and actually create a budget that has spending cuts 3x the amount of tax increases like you promised.
slckusr
Premium
join:2003-03-17
Greenville, SC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter

seemed to fit.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=yys5iioLUNw
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1

Hah!

Glad I don't live in Atlanta. They will be stuck in the dark ages indefinitely .

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Hah!

The ATL is only hip if you are rich/a musician/an artist etc etc since those folks can always leave when they feel the nice Red state is getting too Red for them. Unfortunately the common folks don't get to say a peep since they voted for those nice Republicans back into office when they should thought "wait a minute my community wants the fastest Internet for less and they want to stop this" before voting those nice GOP folks back...but is too late now since those nice Republicans already want to kill fast internet for all.

noc007

join:2002-06-18
Cumming, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Shame On Them!

Just called my Rep and asked him to vote "No". I'm glad I hit the main page of BBR otherwise I would have never known. Per the district boundaries, my Rep isn't one of the a-holes authoring this. It's good that my call may have a better chance at influencing a vote, but it's bad that I'm so close to a district who's Rep had a hand in it.
Slipen

join:2010-04-18
Cairo, GA
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: Shame On Them!

I emailed Mark Hamilton he is the one who introduced the bill and refused to answer either email I sent him last month and this month on how this bill helped anyone but Windstream. Windstream has already told most of us if you didn't get upgraded by now don't expect one. That is fine if you don't want to spend the money to fix your network outside city limits, but you should not have the ability to keep someone else from building something better.

jfleni

@bhn.net

They are not totally stupid

The bill "exempts communities with municipal electric utilities from the prohibtion to provide telecommunications." They are looking to their immediate north at the success of Chattanooga in Power and Internet (3800 new tech jobs and larger Real estate market in less than three years). So they are not totally stupid and retarded.

Start municipal power utilities there folks.
melonduck

join:2004-07-19
Atlanta, GA

HB 282 failed


Bill limiting cities’ ability to create broadband networks fails