We've been writing about Georgia's HB 282 for weeks, discussing the likely impact from limiting who can build Internet networks in communities that have the most basic Internet connections.
When the bill finally hit the House Floor, it failed in a bipartisan vote of 70 ayes to 94 nays. Many groups helped to educate the public and make sure many were informed about this legislation as it made its way through the Georgia House. Our full coverage of it is here.
Yesterday, CBS Atlanta ran another segment on this story, noting the overblown promises Windstream was making despite being unable to fulfill them (video below).
We will be running more stories on Georgia as we continue to cover the grassroots effort to protect local authority over this matter and continue to educate elected officials about community owned networks.
This is the second year in a row we saw Georgia consider a bill to limit local authority in this matter and we expect to see it again. We hope people in all 50 states are taking some time to tell their elected officials what they think about their access to the Internet and making sure that whenever a decision is made, it be made by the community without unnecessary barriers imposed by states or Washington, DC.
CBS Atlanta 46
Windstream Communications and local nonprofit electrical cooperative Colquitt Electric Membership Corp are partnering on a $32.5 million fiber deployment that will bring fiber optic broadband to 17,000 homes and businesses in Colquitt County, Georgia. Once completed sometime next year, the partnership should help deliver last-mile fiber access to roughly 70% of Colquitt County residents, many of which either have no current broadband access, or have long been stuck on sluggish, expensive, and dated digital subscriber line (DSL).
A looming new bill by Republican Kentucky State Senator Gex Williams could undermine decades of broadband progress made in the state’s capital city by a popular locally-owned utility, Frankfort Plant Board (FPB). Home to 28,000 Kentuckians, locals and utility officials are incensed at the bill, which they believe will unnecessarily result in higher rates, fewer jobs, and less broadband competition overall. Williams is circulating a bill in the Kentucky state legislature that, if passed, would force FPB to sell its broadband division to a private-sector company and subject it to more stringent oversight requirements.
The Knoxville Utility Board (KUB) says it has completed the first phase of what will be the nation's largest municipal broadband deployment, bringing affordable fiber access to more than 50,000 premises in this city of 192,000 – many for the very first time. All told, the $702 million project aims to deliver affordable fiber to 210,000 households across KUB’s 688-square-mile service area, taking between seven and ten years to complete.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania has revitalized the city’s long percolating plan for a municipal broadband network, this time via a public-private partnership (PPP) with Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel). The city’s quest for more affordable, reliable broadband is a quest that’s taken the better part of a decade to finally come to fruition.
One major barrier to providing universal access to fast, reliable and affordable Internet service–long recognized by ILSR, telecom experts, and a growing number of ordinary citizens–are the monopoly-friendly preemption laws that either outright ban or erect insurmountable barriers to municipal broadband. Here’s a look at what three of the 17 states with preemption laws are saying about those barriers in their BEAD Five Year Action Plans.
The key for states to unlock their portion of the $42.5 billion in federal BEAD funds is the submission and approval of their Five Year Action Plans and Final Proposal. Today, we will look at two states (Maine and Louisiana) and follow up with the others as we are getting a clearer picture of how each state intends to put this historic infusion of federal funds to use.