Anti-Muni Bills Live On
from the down-but-not-out dept
When municipal broadband was still a relatively new idea, incumbent telcos tended to respond in the way they know best: not by competing the market, but by trying to get these would-be competitors prevented from entering the market. One form these efforts took were anti-muni laws, such as the one Verizon got passed in Pennsylvania and requires municipalities to get permission from incumbents before setting up muni broadband networks. While overt efforts like this seem to have slowed, in favor of more hidden means, like astroturfing, MuniWireless points to a story from North Carolina that shows efforts to pass anti-muni laws haven’t died completely. The state’s general assembly is considering a bill that wouldn’t ban municipal broadband, though — just paralyze it with red tape. There are plenty of reasons to question how municipal broadband is implemented, but seeking to take away the right to implement it — or just stifle it, as in this case — is just another anti-competitive tactic on the part of incumbents.