Thursday, January 05, 2012

North Carolina's Broadband Battle

Just read a good article in Inside ALEC, the bimonthly publication of the American Legislative Exchange Council. The article is "North Carolina's Broadband Battle," by N.C. Representative Marilyn Avila. Rep. Avila authored the bill that became N.C.'s "Level Playing Field Law," which imposed restrictions on municipalities that wish to provide phone, cable TV, or broadband services in competition with existing private providers.

The bill resulted from the experience of municipalities in North Carolina getting into the telecom business in cities and towns in which the same services already were being provided by Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and CenturyLink.

Rep. Avila details the municipalities' money losing experiences -- really the taxpayers' money losing experiences since it is the taxpayers that ultimately foot the bill when the city-owned telecom businesses fail.

As Rep. Avila recounts the experiences of the N.C. towns, she sums up: "The facts were not pretty."

I don't have a link to the article, but if you get the Insider ALEC, Rep. Avila's piece is well-worth reading.