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Google Steps Into Georgia Broadband Fight
Argues SB313 Is a Job Killer
by Karl Bode 08:12AM Wednesday Feb 08 2012
Georgia is the latest state to try and impose restrictions on communities eager to deploy their own broadband after regional duopolists Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink convinced state legislators to erect roadblocks designed to keep the state's broadband market just how they like it: utterly uncompetitive. Such bills had fallen out of favor in recent years as locals realized they're crafted solely to protect regional incumbent ISP profits. That's despite ISP lobbyist claims that such efforts are about "leveling the playing field" and "fairness."

Google has joined the Fiber to the Home Council and Alcatel Lucent arguing (pdf) that Georgia's current community-broadband blocking bill, SB313, hurts the local economy, lessens job creation, and restricts consumer choice. The most terrifying prospect to uncompetitive ISPs like CenturyLink would be an open private-public network, supported by locals, inviting additional competitors to flood to the region. Google and Alcatel Lucent would obviously like to sell product and ads to those companies, but the bill is also opposed by city leaders and locals, who apparently didn't get their checks from either Time Warner Cable or CenturyLink.

From a letter to state lawmakers:
quote:
...this bill, if enacted, will harm both the public and private sectors, stifle economic growth, prevent the creation or retention of thousands of jobs, hamper work force development and diminish the quality of life in Georgia. In particular, SB 313 will hurt the private sector in several ways: by curtailing public-private partnerships; by stifling the ability of private companies to sell equipment and services to public broadband providers; and by impairing economic and educational opportunities that would contribute to a skilled workforce from which businesses across the state would benefit.
But that's ok because it's a bill that prevents Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink from having to work harder and upgrade their networks, right? After all, nothing says "level playing field" quite like imposing restrictions on private-public partnerships that neither of those two companies have to face. Especially when broadband competition in the region is so stagnant that neither incumbent ISP has to upgrade their last-mile networks.

ISPs working to stop communities from upgrading their infrastructure -- even when ISPs won't -- continues to be just as obnoxious as it was a decade ago when these kinds of bills were more common. Nearly two-dozen such bills were passed in States before locals became aware of what ISP lobbyists were up to.

Supporters pretend these blockades are erected in order to protect local communities, yet the rules they're pushing strip local rights and ensure locals will overpay for broadband services for decades. Supporters argue the restrictions are about protecting communities from government expansion, yet they're bribing government to protect giant, un-innovative, uncompetitive publicly-subsidized companies that don't deserve protection. What these laws are is old-school for-hire protectionism by government, and arguing that they're about helping anyone other than incumbent ISPs is absolute folly.

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Public sector dominance in economy has companies cowed

»www.baller.com/pdfs/Joint_Indust···3-12.pdf

by curtailing public-private partnerships; by stifling the ability of private companies to sell equipment and services to public broadband providers

Let's face it - some private companies are so worried about how the public sector is starting to dominate the economy they no longer want to see the public sector have to compete on a level playing field. They have given in and have decided that selling to government is the best way to make money going forward. Hence their antagonism to any laws that would stop the growth of government.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: Public sector dominance in economy has companies cowed

The problem with that is that the private isps are already basically public isps, as they take public money to build out fiber (Or rather, to deposit it and give their executives huge bonuses). As such, they have no right to speak, and any laws like these need to be destroyed.

There is definately a good point if you are a geniune private company, but ones who take lots of public money should answer to the public if they don't build out.

OneEye

join:2006-04-15
Peachtree City, GA

My GA Legislature wouldn't stifle competition; would they?

Georgia's Legislature is trying to pass laws that would OUTLAW other internet providers such as Google from installing networks that would compete against the Big Duopolies (market condition that exists when there are only two sellers AND usually protected by government decree).

Google's privacy concerns bother me, but they're no worse than AT&T's privacy agreements.

Why, it just makes me feel so good that no one has caught my Georgia Representatives with their hands in the Cookie Jar. So far!

Peachtree City, GA

CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

Re: My GA Legislature wouldn't stifle competition; would they?

Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is always pulling crap like this. He has shown time and again he is on the take...yet he keeps getting re-elected. Makes you wonder who the really stupid people are

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Which Google?

Is this the same Google that itself is being stymied by local governments when it is trying to lay its own fiber? Perhaps a bill that would ban local governments from wasting taxpayer money on building ISPs as well as ban them from getting in the way of private deployments is what is needed?

Most local governments claim to be "broke." But if they are lying, and really have all this extra cash laying around to deploy broadband, then perhaps they should be made to give that back to the taxpayer instead.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Which Google?

Google already started hanging the fiber in KC.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Re: Which Google?

said by me1212:

Google already started hanging the fiber in KC.

After they had to literally raise hell to do it.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

Dolgan
Premium
join:2005-10-01
Sun Prairie, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Which Google?

quote:
After they had to literally raise hell to do it.
Not true. Google did not want to pay the pole connection fees initially. Once Google agreed to pay the fees they were allowed to start hanging the fiber.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH
and that is my point. Most of these local gov'ts are claiming they are broke, but yet have the resources to go out and spend millions on these networks that will NEVER do anything and yet cost more than what they're worth to run and maintain.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Which Google?

It's paid for with municipal bonds and the bonds are paid off with nwrwprk subscriber revenue. Furthermore hese local networks force private moopolies to lower their prices, saving taxpayers million. Stop spreading lies.
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06
I think it's a bureaucratic principle to always exceed the budget to prevent being underfunded in the future. So government is always broke and services are always cut, while boondoggles flourish and top officials draw steadily increasing salaries.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
Laying super fast internet would give cities a competitive advantage, and make them compelling for businesses and create jobs. It's something worth investing in, unless you prescribe to stone age thinking.

Making prices high is only setting America back and keeping people from creating new forms of jobs.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Which Google?

said by Metatron2008:

Laying super fast internet would give cities a competitive advantage, and make them compelling for businesses and create jobs. It's something worth investing in, unless you prescribe to stone age thinking.

Did FIOS fix the economy in the places where it is deployed?
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Which Google?

This has been explained to you multiple times. Food was not a public private partnership and cherry picked the most lucrative areas.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
said by Metatron2008:

Laying super fast internet would give cities a competitive advantage, and make them compelling for businesses and create jobs. It's something worth investing in, unless you prescribe to stone age thinking.

Making prices high is only setting America back and keeping people from creating new forms of jobs.

Don't believe the hype. It's the same story ever time or it's the poor people will stop smoking crack when they get free board band story. Remember 50% of the internet is porn.
Telco

join:2008-12-19
The internet has become as essential as any other utility. As such, should not should not be left to some business, whose sole purpose is to make a profit.

Look at our lightly regulated wireless sector and compare it to Big Gov Europe or Asia. When you see what they pay and receive, we look like a big joke.

This whole notion of government sucks is false RWer propaganda anyway. For example, the best airlines in the world and most profitable are government owned, while our private airlines are bankrupt and an absolute joke.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Which Google?

said by Telco:

Look at our lightly regulated wireless sector and compare it to Big Gov Europe or Asia. When you see what they pay and receive, we look like a big joke.

Europe is broke. Asia is heavily dependent on us to buy their exports.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Which Google?

said by pnh102:

said by Telco:

Look at our lightly regulated wireless sector and compare it to Big Gov Europe or Asia. When you see what they pay and receive, we look like a big joke.

Europe is broke. Asia is heavily dependent on us to buy their exports.

So what if they're broke, their networks are still superior because the networks were invested in and upgraded before plans to maximize profit for all the stooges not doing anything but siphoning off money from compaines like the american corporate dream drives into everyones head as being the-only-way to succeed.
--
Say no to JAMS!

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Which Google?

said by firephoto:

So what if they're broke ...

Are you being serious?
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Which Google?

said by pnh102:

said by firephoto:

So what if they're broke ...

Are you being serious?

Fully serious, it's amazing how much broke doesn't matter when you own things or have already invested fully into them.

I buy a car, I buy 500 gallons of fuel, I buy some maintenance items, I can be broke but guess what, I'm still driving my car about.
--
Say no to JAMS!

skyrous

@rr.com
Broke or not in Europe has a dozens of different service providers that provide double the speed at 1/3 the cost of my internet. Their cell phone serivce is the same way. That's called competition it forces companies to offer better service at lower cost. It's the thing conservatives talk about right up until the moment the corporate bribe money comes in then they become monopolists. If there was a real call for competition in the ISP market more 50% of the people calling for net neutrality would instantly drop. Most people want competition but net neutrality is anyone will even talk about.

Here's a list of the cheapest ISP's in England: »www.e4s.co.uk/docs/internet-serv···ders.htm
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by pnh102:

said by Telco:

Look at our lightly regulated wireless sector and compare it to Big Gov Europe or Asia. When you see what they pay and receive, we look like a big joke.

Europe is broke. Asia is heavily dependent on us to buy their exports.

if Europe is broke then why does Germany have a current account surplus?
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
Why do you have to be so obtuse? These networks are funded by bonds issued by the government and paid for entirely with subscriber revenue. Everyone here knows you're little more than a corporate shill, except when it personally affects you (like the att merger), so why do you persist in spreading false information? There's no money to "return".
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Pot, Kettle, Don't Be Evil?

Isn't it Google that's the job-killer, wanting to string its own fiber without paying legitimate wages for skilled craftsmen to do it right?

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: Pot, Kettle, Don't Be Evil?

said by elray:

Isn't it Google that's the job-killer, wanting to string its own fiber without paying legitimate wages for skilled craftsmen to do it right?

You mean they didn't want to pay the pole hanging fee for putting cable in the electrical zone of the pole. Not a damn thing to do with real people hanging cable not getting paid, just some legit-enough sounding FUD from the opposition.

Result, the private utilities whined loud enough and stroked the right people and now google is paying a fee and hanging fiber on the poles crammed in with all the other utility cables hanging on the poles.

I love all this opposition to these things in the name of "private business is getting bullied", guess what? Google is a private business, people need to quit being butt hurt if they do things that give away service or make it cheap.
--
Say no to JAMS!
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

TW and century who??

time who? century what?

our monopoly is »Mediacom

come on down, ~$30 for basic, or ~$70 for expanded, and a leg or two for any thing higher.

CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

Re: TW and century who??

...and Comcast. I think the others are in S. GA, although I dont know where TWC serves GA

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

1 recommendation

Another great article, Karl but sadly

many will continue to not listen.

They hear this story and think of the "big, bad government" out to get them. They believe that Uncle Sam is coming to get them and thus ANY government is BAD, BAD, BAD.

Except of course when they want things outlawed and laws passed that help them.

Oh, and this has little to nothing to do with the government imposing its will

But then again, 99% of the "big, bad government" arguments here have anything to do with the actual government coming after anyone
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: Another great article, Karl but sadly

You've seen pnh102 whining about big bad government on this thread right? You should have seen him screaming bloody murder over AT&T's proposed merger with T-mobile, decrying corruption and weak government at the thought of his phone bill's price going up. He's the very definition of US right wingers- pathologically hypocritical and incapable of self reflection.
tmc8080

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

the real deal..

sadly, the CORRUPTION that state governments are hiding harkens back to standard oil, the original MA-Bell, and railroad monopolies of the past. there is abolutely NO REASON for many geographies in much of the country to have ONLY ONE OR TWO major service providers that connect telecom equipment and build the last mile to customers. on the other hand, you won't see 250 companies vying to attach cables to the poles anytime soon either. putting a GOOGLE or MUNI TELECOM on the map as an ISP wouldn't harm anything other than the current duopolies & monopolies from cashing in on decades old technology and infrastructure in addition to abusing the customer base in the process with stagnant & non-existent innovations or investments. you can't even say that this protectionist corruption is ONLY a southern phenomena, you see many mid-west & northern states engaged in similar tactics as well.