Yesterday, Raleigh City Council passed a resolution opposing legislation under consideration by the North Carolina General Assembly that would limit or eliminate local governments’ ability to provide high-speed Internet and other broadband services to their citizens. The proposed legislation, House Bill 129 and Senate Bill 87, are known as Level Playing Field/Local Government Competition.
The City Council resolution, introduced by Council Member Bonner Gaylord, says that passage of HB129/SB87 would keep “local governments from providing needed communications services, especially advanced high-speed broadband,” and deny “local governments the availability of federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to assist in providing affordable access to high-capacity broadband service in unserved and underserved areas.”
The resolution also noted that several NC municipalities, including Wilson, Salisbury, Morganton, Laurinburg and Davidson, already offer high-speed Internet in response to private provider’s unwillingness or inability to provide Broadband service “to serve the public and promote economic development in their respective areas.”
Raleigh itself has free outdoor wireless Internet in the downtown/Fayetteville Street area.