Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
A municipal government cannot possibly hope to compete with well-capitalized broadband providers in a highly competitive market.For those unfamiliar with Heartland, they don't use the same definitions for common words like "competitive" as the rest of us do. In Heartland's world, "competitive" means a market in which one of our funders operates regardless of how much competition exists in it. So why do we need new legislation to make it even harder for communities to build the networks that the cable and DSL companies won't build?
The SCCTA has been actively following the AT&T-backed legislation that would amend the Government-Owned Telecommunications Service Providers Act. House Bill 3508 would impose the same requirements on government-owned broadband operations that are currently imposed on telecommunications operations.Of course, H.3508 goes far beyond applying the "same requirements." It enacts a host of requirements that only apply to public providers, which are already disadvantaged by being much smaller than companies like Time Warner Cable and AT&T. We have long ago debunked the myth of public sector advantages over the private sector. The second quarter newsletter [pdf] identifies this bill as the highest priority of the cable association:
H3508, the AT&T backed legislation, has been our dominate piece of legislation in 2011.
Erik Poulsen, government relations director at Washington Public Utility District Association, said PUDs have used the wholesale authority they were granted in 2000, building 4,500 miles of fiber-optic cable, investing $300 million in infrastructure and joining with 150 retail providers.