In the wake of a bill in Georgia to revoke local authority and substitute it with state say-so over whether a community can build a broadband network, multiple outlets have covered the situation.
As usual, Stop the Cap! was quick on the ball, offering original in-depth commentary. Phil digs into the campaign cash history to find the real motivations behind this bill:
Rogers’ legislation is exceptionally friendly to the state’s incumbent phone and cable companies, and they have returned the favor with a sudden interest in financing Rogers’ 2012 re-election bid. In the last quarter alone, Georgia’s largest cable and phone companies have sent some big thank-you checks to the senator’s campaign:
- Cable Television Association of Georgia ($500)
- Verizon ($500)
- Charter Communications ($500)
- Comcast ($1,000)
- AT&T ($1,500)
A review of the senator’s earlier campaign contributions showed no interest among large telecommunications companies operating in Georgia. That all changed, however, when the senator announced he was getting into the community broadband over-regulation business.
Phil also refutes the supposed failures cited by those pushing the bill. Not only do such stories misrepresent what really happened, some actually cite EPB's incredible 1Gbps service as demonstrating that munis are out of touch. What else would you expect from the Heartland Institute, which made its name fighting against the radical claim that cigarettes are linked to cancer?
Government Technology's Brian Heaton also covered the story in "Georgia Community Broaband in Legislative Crosshairs."
In addition, Mitchell [me] said that SB 313’s requirement of the public entity paying the same taxes or the same cost of capital as the private sector is another red herring. He said that while the provision looks reasonable on the surface, it would critically hamstring any effort to establish government-owned high-speed broadband services.
“That’s like telling me I have to pay the same...