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

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.

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  1. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    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.

  2. 0
    Shahab says:

    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.

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    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’

  4. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    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.

  5. 0
    Craig R. says:

    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.

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