By Allan Maurer
RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina legislators recently killed a proposed bill by state Senator David Hoyle (D-Gaston) that would have put a moratorium on municipal broadband efforts, but the issue is likely to arise again in January, say community activists in favor of continuing to allow cities to build their own broadband networks.
Hoyle’s bill, S1209 was just the most recent of four attempts backed by incumbent providers (AT&T, Time Warner Cable & others) to stop cities from creating their own broadband networks.
In North Carolina, the city of Wilson has built its own successful broadband network that offers higher than normal broadband Internet speeds, cable TV, and phone service at prices lower than competing private providers.
Wilson’s Greenlight service, which provides speeds 10 times faster than the incumbents typically offer, seems to have given the city some competitive muscle. Time Warner Cable, which employs 8,500 people in NC, raised rates up to 52 percent in Cary and increased prices on its digital sports and games tier by 41 percent in the Triangle. TWC did not, however, raise rates in Wilson or increase the sports and games tier price there.