North Carolina's Anti-Community-Fiber Bill Returns
Time Warner Cable found a new lawmaker...
Incumbent phone and cable companies have spent years successfully lobbying state lawmakers to pass laws banning towns and cities from wiring themselves -- even in cases where incumbents wouldn't
. The laws, usually written by incumbent lawyers, were passed in more than a dozen states without much public debate -- though momentum slowed in recent years due to media attention and consumer advocacy opposition.
But recently these bills started popping up again in North Carolina, due to a number of fiber to the home municipal developments that have been taking off in the state. Wilson, North Carolina launched a $28 million municipal broadband operation named Greenlight last year, offering symmetrical speeds up to 100Mbps. Other cities like Salisbury
began exploring the option too.
That of course riled up local incumbents Time Warner Cable and AT&T, given fiber to the home would provide faster service than either carrier is willing to provide in the region. Fortunately for locals, Time Warner Cable's bungled attempt to force high broadband overages on customers
last year directed extra attention Time Warner Cable's way -- and several efforts to derail fiber projects in Salisbury and Wilson were met by some angry and informed grass roots consumer opposition
Time Warner Cable also wasn't helped by the fact that the chief proponent of their latest bill, Rep. Ty Harrell (D-Raleigh), ultimately resigned
after an ethics investigation into his campaign finances -- and Time Warner Cable's bill was defeated. However, it appears the effort has once again returned according to locals
, and Time Warner Cable has found themselves a new politician eager to tell communities they cannot deploy fiber in their own backyards because it would make Time Warner Cable unhappy:
This year’s push for anti-consumer legislation comes courtesy of Senator Daniel G. Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg County). He reportedly wants a moratorium on all municipal broadband deployments on the alleged basis that these are bad for the private sector and will harm state tax revenue. Hello? Virtually every municipal broadband project underway fuels job creation as crews work to install the fiber optic networks that will come to represent an economic catalyst and job creator. When communities no longer have to turn away digital economy jobs lost because of inadequate broadband by existing providers, that’s an economic victory for hard-pressed North Carolina, where unemployment is at 11.2 percent these days — 10th worst in the country.
Again, people are free to argue the merits of whether a community should get into the broadband business all they'd like -- but if the locals
decide they'd like to go that route because incumbents are not providing adequate service -- that should be the local citizen's choice
-- not yours, and not Time Warner Cable's. If these markets had more competition (something companies like Time Warner Cable fight tooth and nail against at every turn), these communities wouldn't be in this position to begin with.
Re: When Laws Like This Pass
said by nasadude:try a couple of centuries.
it hasn't been us for a couple of decades.
| |ThespisI'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.Premium
Re: what arguments
said by SLD:Really? I thought those people were R's...
Ha! The same people who argue that gov't shouldn't get involved are trying to get the gov't involved by passing this bill.
"Time Warner Cable also wasn't helped by the fact that the chief proponent of their latest bill, Rep. Ty Harrell (D-Raleigh), ultimately resigned after an ethics investigation into his campaign finances...
This years push for anti-consumer legislation comes courtesy of Senator Daniel G. Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg County). He reportedly wants a moratorium on all municipal broadband deployments on the alleged basis that these are bad for the private sector and will harm state tax revenue."
Fast. Cheap. Safe.
Re: what arguments I wouldn't say we're letting them get away with it. We have no choice. There are very few ways to get high speed connectivity... the phone line (AT&T DSL), or cable (TWC). "Directway" is a very bad joke. Wimax (Clearwire) is spotty, expensive, and slow. And cellular data plans are extremely expensive and heavily restricted -- if you think Comcast's 250G is low, look at the fine print with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
I remember the days of dialup. There was significant competition. Anyone could be an ISP; nobody was standing in the way. We had good customer service and lowering prices.
Today however, we have effectively no competition. There's an unspoken collusion amongst the ever dwindling number of providers. Customer service is simply gone -- outsourced to people who are more interested in getting paid than fixing your problems. Prices constantly go up. And service continues to circle the bowl. DSL is at the end of it's rope; and many people are finding themselves just beyond the end of that rope (no Uverse for them.) Most cable operators are continuing to pocket all of their ever increasing profits instead of upgrading their decade old technology. The "speed increase" trick of changing a number in a DOCSIS config file doesn't work anymore -- 30/10 is as high as you can set it, 'tho it's unlikely to be usuable at 10/1.
(even on a "Business class" cablemodem, 1M up is not sustainable in a residential neighborhood. At 3am I might be able to push 900k, but when people are awake... no way.)
Re: what arguments
said by battleop:You could probably just refer to this site -- »www.ftthcouncil.org/en
what arguments are the pro-fiber pushers using to fight the bill?
But there have also been multiple articles on this site alone talking about the pros over the cons and if I remember correctly there is even a guy who goes around speaking to councils around the nation talking about the pros of building their own FTTH network. Can't remember for the life of me what it was called but it was a few months back
AT&T, Slime Warner, Etc. Dear Telecommunications Companies,
I am a resident of Greensboro and I pay a monthly Bill to AT&T for internet service. I realize that this article focuses mostly on Slime Warner who I refuse to do business with. Currently, I do not even have cable because I will not do business with a company that charges too much and refuses to expand service to new areas. Governments should be able to do this on their own if they want to.
In 2009, the general assembly was petitioned by the incumbents to prevent local governments in NC from building their own networks. At the time, I was in Boone, NC in college. I wrote my local state representative and made sure my voice was heard. It obviously worked because the bill was shelved and my local state representative was in contact with me personally which was impressive at the time.
However, due to continued pressure from incumbents I must write my local state representative again and louder this time. Furthermore, I am now going to seek ways to cancel my AT&T internet service. I have already reduced my internet service to the slowest speed in protest due to AT&T and other incumbents' slow, expensive service. It is time that I sew my purse shut and cancel my service. I vote with my local representative and more importantly with my wallet. The strings are now tied off. When I said before that I wrote a representative and cut back my service to the minimum it meant that I really did that last year and that I am very serious now. I will reconsider service from the incumbents when the service is faster and reasonably priced for the service provided. I also will not reconsider service until AT&T, Slime Warner, etc. stop petitioning state and federal government to prevent local governments from building their own networks. Only then will I continue to forward my very hard earned money in a tight economy to a company that has a grin from ear to ear while they plot new ways to separate cash from consumers pockets.
Thank you for everyone's listening. I can only hope the incumbents read this forum.
John P. Keels