I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.
Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications companies, but by supporting greater government ownership of broadband he’s really working against small businesses like mine. While it’s true many of my colleagues in the telecom sector oppose Rep. Carter’s efforts, the bills he supports wouldn’t hurt the giants of the industry. They’d hurt small, locally owned internet service providers like mine that are struggling to provide good service in our neighborhoods and good jobs in our communities. Continue reading
Two weeks after a federal court dealt a major blow to municipal broadband advocates, dozens of US mayors and city leaders vowed on Wednesday to continue the fight for local control of next-generation communications networks.
These community leaders are speaking out after the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to preempt state laws that pose barriers to municipal broadband development. Continue reading
The court made the correct decision to make this a local or states-right issue. This article definitely takes the position that government should compete with private enterprise, but it fails to mention that the government cannot compete fairly with private enterprise. The government does not play on the same playing field as private enterprise because they have taxes and regulations to content. Also the article does not point out the majority of broadband efforts to date have been failures leaving bondholders and taxpayers holding the bag with the debt.
Chattanooga may be the poster child of a municipal broadband success but UTOPIA is the poster child of multiple failures. Also, Chattanooga may not be the success story that all are touting but that is the subject of another post.
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just days after the Tennessee legislature voted down a municipal broadband expansion bill, the state was squaring off with the FCC in federal court over the issue of municipal broadband buildouts and the state’s ability to limit them.
After FCC chairman Tom Wheeler signaled the FCC had the power to preempt state laws blocking the expansion of municipal broadband, the cities of Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn. petitioned the FCC to do just that. A divided commission complied in March 2015, and Tennessee and North Carolina then filed suit. Continue reading
A push by cities across the country to get into the business of the Internet is raising concerns that local governments, with Washington’s blessing, are meddling where they are not needed — and wasting taxpayer dollars in the process.
The push was fueled earlier this year, when President Obama in January introduced a plan for municipal broadband projects which, according to the administration, would encourage “competition and choice” while offering a “level-playing field” for high-speed Internet access. Continue reading
This article takes a stance that government can do things better than private industry although history has consistently proven different. Few will question the fact that incumbents will do what is necessary to continue the business model in which they are comfortable. Also, several states have felt the need to “protect” taxpayers from getting stuck with the bill from a failed investment in municipal broadband. Despite the un-based assertion that most municipal broadband projects are financially successful, more than half of the projects have left bondholders and taxpayers with the debt from a poorly executed strategy.
The article fails to address that the FCC has no legal authority to override state law nor that it is not the government’s role in a capitalist society to enter the communications business. The article implies that municipalities have rights and freedoms to enter certain businesses. I do not recall anything in the Constitution granting municipalities any rights.