The State of Georgia House of Representatives voted down an anti-municipal broadband bill that would have prohibited municipalities from deploying broadband networks. The bill was sponsored by the usual coalition of telecom incumbents aided by their astroturf organisations, and supported by people who believe that cities should not spend money on critical broadband infrastructure, but should shower unlimited amounts of taxpayer largesse on sports stadiums and sports teams.
While I am pleased to see that this odious bill has been defeated, it seems that these horrid things pop up again and again in places where the people have no business being proud about the sorry state of their broadband service, where clearly, the private sector is delivering low quality, expensive broadband because of lack of competition or in many cases, lack of a business model (low population density).
Nineteen other states in the US have passed laws that ban or hamper municipalities from building broadband networks, thanks to telecom and cable companies and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organisation which provides templates for these harmful bills. For years, MuniWireless has written about and opposed these bills and after almost a decade of MuniWireless’s existence, these anti-muni broadband bills keep showing up in state legislatures.
I wrote about the four culprits to blame for this state of affairs in Anti-municipal broadband laws are like bubonic plague. There’s another round coming to a statehouse next to you.