State News

Bill would limit N.C. cities starting broadband

Posted May 26, 2010

— North Carolina legislators are trying to make it harder for cities and towns to start broadband Internet services that compete with big telephone and cable companies.

The state Senate is considering legislation forcing municipalities to get voter approval before borrowing money to build a competing broadband network. A committee on Wednesday postponed plans to examine the proposal.

Telecom corporations have sought for several years to keep towns from following Wilson and Salisbury into the broadband business.

The Senate bill's sponsor says communities that don't pay taxes shouldn't be competing with business, but compromise is being negotiated.

Advocates say local high-speed Internet is faster and cheaper than the companies are willing to offer.

Similar bills have been debated in the General Assembly for several years.

Time Warner Cable recently alerted employees via e-mail to lobby lawmakers to support the measure.

"We are not against competition, but think everyone should abide by the same rules," the e-mail stated, noting municipal-run systems don't have to pay taxes.


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  • OSX May 27, 2010

    Time Warner is a rip off. We got the fastest internet package in Raleigh and my DSL in Roxboro was A LOT FASTER and cheaper on top of that. AND even on top of that MORE RELIABLE !!! Of course they don't want somebody competing with their no good service. Matter of fact, the HD service we get from them isn't very good either.

  • Iconoclast May 26, 2010

    Every single legislator who supports this bill should be voted out of office. This bill caters to corporate greed while backstabbing the general public. I'm tired of politicians with their hands out to special interests turning their backs on the people. This bill is a prime example of legislation for cash.

  • whatusay May 26, 2010

    I wonder how much money these legislators are receiving from lobbyists of Time Warner?

  • jbwhite2 May 26, 2010

    vote for the bill if you want to have your internet rates go up and performance go down. Senator Hoyle (D-Gastonia) is getting tons of PAC money to sponsor this bill. Vote NO to keep our internet rates reasonable! Some areas are now getting 100MB speeds - the only place in NC that has it is Wilson.

  • Frank Downtown May 26, 2010

    I don't understand why politicans want to make a law prohibiting their residents from having the best internet connection to the outside world?

  • CombatMed May 26, 2010

    I agree dwntwnboy. What's the matter TWC? Afraid you might have to lower those prices? I doubt it, even if this went through you'd still have someone willing to pay ridiculous prices for your service. Why is this bill even being looked at, it should be killed.

  • dwntwnboy May 26, 2010

    "We are not against competition, but think everyone should abide by the same rules," the e-mail stated, noting municipal-run systems don't have to pay taxes."- well DUH!! That's because the municipal run systems ARE the taxes. Time Warner Crooks.