Six months to act before NC looks at municipal broadband again

By Allan Maurer

Communities United for BroadbandRALEIGH, 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.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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