North Carolina lawmakers KO municipal broadband

North Carolina's legislature has killed a key state agency and passed a law that makes it nearly impossible for cities in the state to operate their own broadband networks, Stateline reports.

The law follows restrictions on broadband in 19 other states, and came after years of lobbying by big cable and telecom companies, the article added.

The state legislature also killed North Carolina's broadband authority, which had a national reputation for its statewide planning and technical assistance work, the story continued.

The Federal Communications Commission and some local officials opposed the law when it was introduced, GCN reported in April.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in a statement at the time that the bill, titled the Level Playing Field/Local Gov't Competition Act, “certainly sounds goal-worthy, an innocuous proposition, but do not let the title fool you. This measure, if enacted, will not only fail to level the playing field; it will discourage municipal governments from addressing deployment in communities where the private sector has failed to meet broadband service needs.”

Clyburn contented that the bill and other state laws like it hinder efforts to implement the National Broadband Plan, which was mandated by Congress in 2009. Commercial providers have claimed that municipal systems give public-sector providers such as cities an unfair advantage over private business.

Cities around the countries have over the past several years attempted municipal broadband systems, with a mixed record of success.




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Reader Comments

Sat, Sep 17, 2011

Thank you North Carolina. Given California's unemployment rate, any action that discourages companies from here moving to your state are most welcome.

Wed, Sep 7, 2011

It is amazing to see the narrowed mindness of the far left! BIG Government is the problem not the solution. We need more statutes like this one to limit the gpovernments interference in commerical activities!!!

Thu, Aug 25, 2011

The Good 'ol Boy Network is alive and well in NC; same as in DC (but the beltway crowd errantly thinks itself too sophisticated to call it that). Citizens should stay out of the way and not think that it's about them because it isn't. Joe Citizen doesn't have the cars, pools and club memberships in either place to be able to buy favors and play in the red-light-in-the-window league that is government.

Thu, Aug 25, 2011

I takes little insight to see that this good RED state has its legislature bought and paid for by BIG business. Perhaps that electorate will wake up and storm the bastille of special interests. Nah, just feed 'em another episode of Joisey Shaw.

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