On January 26th, one half hour after the House adjourns, the Virginia House Commerce and Labor Committee will hear HB 2108, known around our office as “Byron’s Bad Broadband Bill.” We encourage you to contact members of the committee to let them know that the bill is not good for bringing better connectivity to Virginia, especially in rural areas. It’s another piece of legislation written by big cable and telco lobbyists aimed at blocking competition.
If you live in Virginia or one of the Delegates on the Committee represents your district, be sure to mention that you vote.
Members of the House Commerce and Labor Committee and their contact information are listed on the Committee website. They provide email and phone numbers all in one place.
This Bill...Not Our Kind Of Bill
As we noted when we first reported on the bill, Byron is Vice-Chair of this committee. We’ve also reflected on her position as Chair of the Virginia Broadband Advisory Council and why on earth she would introduce bills that are counter productive to the mission of the Council - to offer advice and solutions aimed at improving broadband access across the state. The chemistry between the citizen members of the Council and the Legislative members assigned to the committee call into question the reasoning behind the content of HB 2108. Phil Dampier recently wrote a compelling article on the situation in Stop the Cap.
Keep It Simple
The bill has been the subject of much derision in the local and national press, but if Virginia House Republicans are determined to test it in Committee, they should be prepared for constituent phone calls and emails. As a reminder, contact with Legislators about their bills are most effective when they focus on the content of the bill and succinctly and clearly address why constituents don’t like proposals. In other words, keep it short, to the point, and civil. As a former state legislative staff member, I can tell you that your message will go much farther.