Date: March 15th, 2017
Missouri's Leading ALEC Legislator Introduces Broadband Barrier Bill
Senator Emery (R-Lamar) is favoring big corporations over competition
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 ...Read more