Rep. Avila on H129, the Broadband bill

Posted May 5, 2011

H129 sponsor Marilyn Avila, R- Wake, didn't say much on the House floor today during the concurrence vote on her bill. (That's not unusual when lawmakers have counted noses and know they have the votes needed.) But after the vote that sent H129 to the governor, she was happy to explain why she felt the measure was needed. 

Critics of the bill lined up at one committee meeting after another to testify that their communities hadn't considered getting into the broadband business until Time Warner Cable refused to bring the service to their area.  

Avila defended the cable company. Local officials, she said, "had a level of service they wanted, which happened to be fiber-optic, which is the most expensive there is out there.  And private industry having to meet the rules of making a profit and staying above-board in order to stay in business, it was not economically feasible for them."  

So why not let cities offer what the big telcos won't? 

"Municipalities' core services are being damaged by this particular approach," Avila said. "They are able to subsidize their telecommunications enterprise when it loses money with other enterprise funds like electricity funds or water and  sewer, and these I feel have higher priority than telecommunications. "   Avila on Broadband Rep. Marilyn Avila on H129 Broadband bill

Shouldn't the cities decide what core services are?  "Well, that's true to some degree. But they didn't ask their citizens if they wanted to pay for that, if they saw that as a core service."

Watch the interview at right. 


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  • TomIn Ral May 11, 2011

    Legislation bought and paid for by Time Warner. Shame on you all!

  • JNealNC May 9, 2011

    Wilson isn't tapping general revenues to pay for its broadband service. It issuedbonds to investors to finance the project. Strike one.

    The US lags the rest of the industrialized world in access to broadband connectivity- and a lack of competition is at the core. A recent OECD study: America has the 25th slowest broadband speeds amongst the 30 nation OECD. Major providers- e.g. Time Warner- won't allow access to their networks to other providers and, not surprisingly, NCinians pay higher rates for their service than consumers in other states. Competition- esp. in poorly-served rural markets- is essential to driving higher bandwidth speed and access. Strike 2.

    Broadband access is the linchpin in information highway of the 21st century- an essential component of closing the education and socio-economic gap. To offer a false choice between broadband access and what Rep. Avila deems "core services" is a red herring. Strike 3.

    Strike 4? Veto this anti-competitive bill.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 9, 2011

    Anything on HB 676????

  • ncpolitics May 6, 2011

    Avila says the municipalities didn't ask their constituents if they wanted broadband services, but I don't remember the NC House or Senate asking the voters what they wanted either. What a hypocrite. It's called a representative democracy for a reason Representative.

  • TheBullCity May 6, 2011

    Citizens to Bev, please veto this bill. If they ask why, tell them you'll come by sometime next week between 8 and 12 to explain.

  • stanmak May 6, 2011

    i dont see a problem with ANY city going into the broadband business. sure, they will have to incure millions in debt and then subsiquently have to pass that on in the form of taxes to the citizens but who cares? if running dirt cheap service and losing money means providing ultra high speed internet to ppl that dont want DSL, and then make the rest of the citizens foot the bill becuase the city doesnt know how to run a business and goes into unbelievable debt, SO BE IT

  • rrzx-14 May 5, 2011

    Someone should look to see how much money TWC paid her.