Update: Thanks to Mark Turner (@mtdotnet) for tape-delayed tweets updating what happened. He has reported: "Senator Joe Sam Queen objects to third reading of S.1209! It remains on the calendar!" This can still be stopped in the Senate. End Update
Update 2: Thanks to Senator Queen for his crucial objection, delaying passage today. His motivation for opposing this bill so strongly? His communities have been ignored by the private sector:
"They’re just frustrated that it’s not getting done by the cable companies, the network companies, whoever’s doing it. They’re just cherrypicking and leaving off so many of our citizens, and that’s just unacceptable."
Despite the efforts of so many folks in North Carolina, the bill to stop communities from building broadband networks (forcing them to rely on whatever the incumbent wants to deploy, if anything) has passed out of the Senate Finance Committee. The Direct Revenue Laws committee has to examine it, but it will soon make its way to the floor of the Senate for a full vote (it did, see updates above).
At this point, we still hope the session ends before this bill can be sent to the Governor. Before sending it to the Gov, it must pass the full Senate, several House Committees, and then the full House. So make sure all your representatives know your feelings on it, and encourage your local leaders to tell State leaders to defend the rights of communities to build their own infrastructure. Contact information is detailed on this post.
The bill has changed once again, as summarized by IndyWeek:
The bill's language was revised this past week to include a moratorium. If the bill becomes law, the moratorium would extend through August 2011 when the legislature's long...