by Mike Masnick

Why Your Broadband Sucks? Lobbyists, Communists And Muni Broadband

from the what-a-mess dept

With so much talk these days about the various municipal broadband efforts, here are two more excellent pieces that look at the deeper issues -- which state government seem to be ignoring thanks to a very active effort on the part of incumbent telco and cableco lobbying. Larry Lessig puts his tongue firmly in his cheek to point out how all this anti-muni lobbying has saved us from the communists. You know, the same ones who make sure that all of our roadways are managed by private firms, and that the government isn't taking away from private enterprise by putting up its own street lamps or employing its own police force. In the same vein, it's a good thing no "communist" governments here in the US offer public transportation, as that would decimate the taxi industry. Meanwhile, David Deans goes through the same issues picking apart, piece by piece, the misleading arguments of the lobbyists. Both are worth reading. Unfortunately, with many, many states considering legislation to outlaw muni broadband (including Oregon, who just brought many new jobs to the state thanks to muni broadband), it looks like neither Deans nor Lessig are getting to talk to the politicians who make these decisions. Instead, the hearings consist only of big company lobbyists. Once again, if these companies spent the money they're putting into lobbying on actually deploying broadband, this wouldn't be an issue at all. The only reason local governments are looking to offer broadband is because the incumbents aren't doing a good enough job.

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