Tag: "press release"

Posted March 15, 2017 by Nick

Date: March 15th, 2017

Missouri's Leading ALEC Legislator Introduces Broadband Barrier Bill

Senator Emery (R-Lamar) is favoring big corporations over competition 

Contact:

Christopher Mitchell

christopher@ilsr.org

612-545-5185

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The chairman of ALEC's Missouri operation, State Senator Ed Emery, introduced a bill earlier this year that would limit the power of municipalities to provide competition on Internet service, instead favoring entrenched Internet Service Providers. SB 186 imposes unworkable restrictions on local governments to prevent "competitive service," which includes both retail and wholesale models - preventing municipalities from working with private sector partners.

Now it turns out this legislation may not just be a wrong-headed approach to fight against what Emery calls "wasted taxpayer dollars." A recent investigation by Stop the Cap revealed that Senator Emery received over $20,000 in donations from telecommunications companies who have a lot to gain by seeing SB 186's passage.

As Stop the Cap points out, Senator Emery's role as state ALEC chairman for Missouri ensures that he has signed a pledge to "put the interests of the[ir] organization first." He's certainly doing a fantastic job.

"This legislation is trying to cut off communities at every turn by limiting any sort of 'competitive service,' whether it comes from public broadband infrastructure investment or a public-private partnership," says Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "Missouri should be encouraging investment and local Internet choice, not working with monopoly lobbyists to prevent it."

Some 20 states have limits on local authority to build networks and Missouri is already one of them. This bill would further limit local Internet choice despite incredibly successful municipal networks across the state - that is why a number of tech companies in and outside of Missouri have ...

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Posted February 14, 2017 by Nick

Date: November 2nd, 2017

Comcast Spends Big on Local Elections in Seattle & Fort Collins

The telecom giant would lose millions in revenue from real competition, new ILSR report says

Contact:​Christopher Mitchellchristopher@ilsr.org612-545-5185​ MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- Comcast has a lot to lose from competition in broadband Internet access. That’s why the telecommunications giant is spending big in municipal elections in Seattle and Fort Collins to maintain its monopoly on broadband Internet access. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s latest policy brief shows that Comcast could lose from $5.4 to $22.8 million per year in Fort Collins and between $20 and $84 millionper year in Seattle if faced with real competition.

In Seattle, Comcast faces absolutely no competition in four of the ten census blocks it offers broadband service. In 73 percent of the blocks with competition, there’s only one other option, according to FCC data. Comcast joined incumbent telephone company CenturyLink with a $50,000 donation supporting preferred candidate, who just happens to oppose a municipal fiber network. Local group Upgrade Seattle is holding an event at Seattle City Hall on November 2nd to rename the building Comcast City Hall because the cable giant’s remarkable influence.

In Fort Collins, the state cable association and Chamber of Commerce had already spent over $200,000 (with 2 weeks left before the referendum) opposing an effort simply allow the city to later create a telecommunications utility. Comcast is a powerful member of both organizations and has a history of pushing its policies through such organizations

Evidence from other cities helps highlight that Comcast may actually be under-spending relative to how real choice in...

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Posted February 13, 2017 by Nick

Date: February 13th, 2017

Missouri Bill Seeks to Limit Municipal Authority

Prohibiting "Competitive Service" from Municipalities Harms Missourians, Benefits Incumbent Service Providers

Contact:

Christopher Mitchell

christopher@ilsr.org

612-545-5185

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Another year in Missouri and another bill from the big telephone companies to limit broadband competition in the state house. The bill introduced by Senator Ed Emery (R-Lamar), SB 186, seeks to limit the power of municipalities to provide competition to entrenched incumbent Internet Service Providers.

SB 186 imposes unworkable restrictions on local governments to prevent "competitive service," which includes both retail and wholesale models - preventing municipalities from working with private sector partners. The bill establishes onerous hurdles for communities attempting to engage in a feasibility study and discourages them from pursuing a chance to serve their residents, businesses, and municipal facilities. Much of this bill's language comes from last year's rejected HB 2078.

"This legislation is trying to cut off communities at every turn by limiting any sort of 'competitive service,' whether it comes from public broadband infrastructure investment or a public-private partnership," says Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "Missouri should be encouraging investment and local Internet choice, not working with monopoly lobbyists to prevent it."

Some 20 states have limits on local authority to build networks and Missouri is already one of them. This bill would further limit local Internet choice despite incredibly successful municipal networks across the state - that is why a number of tech companies in and outside of Missouri have ...

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Posted January 25, 2017 by Nick

Date: January 25th, 2017

Update: Virginia Bill (Still) Seeks to Limit Municipal Authority

Delegate Byron's "Virginia Broadband Deployment Act" Harms Everyone But Cable Monopolies

Contact:

Christopher Mitchell

christopher@ilsr.org

612-545-5185

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The saga of limiting broadband competition in Virginia continues. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced he would veto HB 2108 in its current form because the goal of connecting Virginians requires "encouraging competition, not stifling it." In response, Delegate Kathy J. Byron (R-Forest) introduced a substantially edited bill, which still attacks municipal broadband entities across the state.

HB 2108 imposes burdens on local governments when they begin to solicit proposals for better Internet service, directly harming localities that are desperate for more investment. The bill still gives an edge to private providers by ensuring municipal actors must share their trade secrets. It also opens up local governments to lawsuits for perceived service issues as well as limiting private investment in Internet connectivity. These restrictions functionally ensure that it is impossible for municipal networks to develop and offer competition to the cable monopolies.

"There is nothing about this bill that helps rural Virginia get better connected," says Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "It is entirely about locking down rural markets for companies like AT&T that want to continue profiting from them while refusing to invest in modern connections. These communities are already disadvantaged because they lack access to high-quality, affordable Internet service."

Some 20 states have limit on local authority to build networks and Virginia is already one of them. This bill would further limit local Internet choice despite incredibly successful municipal...

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Posted January 17, 2017 by Nick

Date: January 17th, 2017

Virginia Bill Seeks to Limit Municipal Authority

“Virginia Broadband Deployment Act” Would Limit Municipalities’ Ability to Connect Their Residents

Contact:

Christopher Mitchell

christopher@ilsr.org

612-545-5185

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The latest chapter in efforts by the big cable companies to limit broadband competition just began in Virginia. The introduction of HB 2108, the “VirginiaBroadband Deployment Act,” by Delegate Kathy J. Byron (R-Forest) seeks to limit the power of municipalities to provide competition to entrenched incumbent Internet Service Providers.

...

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Posted November 9, 2016 by Nick

Date: November 9th, 2016

Colorado Voters Reject Cable Monopolies

26 Colorado Communities Opt Out of Restrictive Anti-Municipal Broadband State Law

Contact:

Christopher Mitchell

Christopher@ILSR.org

612-545-5185

 

Denver, CO - Voters in over two dozen Colorado communities are telling their local leaders that they want their community to create local Internet choice rather than being stuck with existing options. Up to 26 cities and counties around the state are joining another 70 that have previously rejected the state’s restrictions against municipal networks and broadband partnerships, known by its legislative name from when it passed in 2005: SB 152.

As of right now, we are prepared to announce that all 26 communities have passed these measures by an average margin of 76%, and we are confirming and monitoring these results.

In 2015, voters in 47 communities chose to reclaim local authority over broadband, making nearly 100 local governments in the past 10 years. Many Colorado communities, rural and urban, do not have access to affordable, high-speed Internet because the big cable and  telephone companies face few competitive threats even when they refuse to invest in modern networks. Around the state, local businesses and residents have rejected the status quo and are demanding local governments take action to improve Internet access.

“We have seen overwhelming support for local Internet choice in Colorado” says Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “These cities and counties recognize that they cannot count on Comcast and CenturyLink alone to meet local needs.”

And now, with the decisions on Tuesday, nearly 100 communities (shown in our map of the state, ...

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