Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big Cable in Broadband Bill

May 20, 2011 -

Internet advocacy group Free Press issued a statement today blasting North Carolina lawmakers for caving into the the broadband industry. Most of the anger is directed at North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, who chose not to veto a bill that would "hinder towns’ and municipalities’ ability to build their own broadband networks, ignoring of thousands of phone calls and emails from her constituents and others around the country concerned about communities being stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide."

The bill was pushed through the statehouse by Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink lobbying efforts according to Free Press.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"In refusing to veto the bill, Governor Perdue sided with powerful phone and cable companies and against efforts by local communities to build their own crucial communications infrastructure. Rather than stand up for her constituents, she ignored their voices and thousands of others from across the nation who had urged her to stand up for real broadband competition and choice.

The big cable companies view these municipal upstarts as major threats and are willing to shower local legislatures with campaign contributions to block their way. North Carolina is just the latest example of what phone and cable incumbents are hoping to do across the nation. Though they’re unwilling to invest in their networks or extend them to communities that need them, they won’t allow anyone else to do it. They’re now threatening to introduce similar bills in other states where municipal broadband efforts are poised to provide citizens with cheaper and faster alternatives.

In light of what has happened in North Carolina, we need federal legislation that would protect the rights of communities to build their own municipal networks. Protecting local communities’ ability to build their own networks was a key recommendation of the National Broadband Plan, and such legislation has attracted bipartisan support in the past. Millions of people across the country lack access to broadband Internet because big companies like Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink and AT&T chose not to extend services to where they live. These same companies – and the politicians whose campaigns they fund – should not be able to block local governments from offering the Internet service their constituents need.”

Lobbyists, 1 - Consumers, 0.


Comments

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

In the end Verizon,Sprint,Comcast,Direct TV,Dish Network will all be "merged" in AT&T.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Which will lead to the same type of situation as before the "Bells" got spilt up. Only this time, all the doucheknuckles in Washington will be too afraid of losing their sugar daddies to do anything but bend us over.

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

What an embarrassment for America. This is a complete and total free market failure.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

I get so angry when I read these stories I feel like I can't do it anymore. While I wouldn't actually do such a thing it makes me feel like lining all these people up in the street and shooting them, which is what they deserve for their corruption. They don't care at all about we the people, they only care about campaign dollars and keeping their power. Well I hope the people who supported this BS lose their seats. That is the only way to change this corruption, punish those who are corrupt, cut them out of the system and deny them the power they crave so much.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

It is amazing how quickly modern conservatives throw aside the ideal that communities should be able to make their own decisions when giant companies complain that it hurts 'the free market'

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Especially when those giant companies violate the free market themselves by setting up what is pretty much a monopoly.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Fortunately my phone company does the broadband here and has since '01 for this very reason and are now in the process of upgrading to 100 MPS across their (Mainly rural)territory.

 

Hunting theshadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

What's truly disgusting is that now are these communities not only not allowed to build their own networks, it's very like that the big companies won't bother servicing them effectively either.

Kill competition and offer nothing. Coming soon to a community near you.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Of course they won't, since they're fixing it so their "customers" have nowhere else to go.

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Politicians see laws as something to control people, not curtail their own gains.  

Re: Free Press: North Carolina Lawmakers Side with Big ...

Shouldn't anti-trust laws play a role here?

 
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Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
 

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