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FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn   (Source:

North Carolina is considering a proposal that would allow a state panel to kill a voter-approved municipal internet service.  (Source: Reuters)
Clyburn is no fan of H.129

As Bill H.129 [PDF] continues to roll on to North Carolina's State Senate Judiciary Committee, having passed the house, controversy surrounding the measure is growing.  

Ostensibly the bill is designed to provide a "level playing field" between local government municipal service projects and local private sector.  However, the bill contains redundant language and sneaks in some provisions that could be the death of municipal services.  

Namely, it makes it much harder to fund such services.  And it hands complete control of whether to ban or approve new voter-ratified services to a state board -- at a time when reportedly state officials have been accepting campaign donations from local telecom monopolists.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on Monday weighed in [PDF] to the debate, blasting the measure.  Similar to our analysis, she asserts that the bill's provisions first seem worthwhile/innocuous, but the actual language allows for disturbing possibilities.  She states, "This piece of legislation certainly sounds goal-worthy, an innocuous proposition, but do not let the title fool you."

She goes on to write:

This measure, if enacted, will not only fail to level the playing field; it will discourage municipal governments from addressing deployment in communities where the private sector has failed to meet broadband service needs. In other words, it will be a significant barrier to broadband deployment and may impede local efforts to promote economic development.

I remain concerned that when cities and local governments are prohibited from investing directly in their own broadband networks, citizens may be denied the opportunity to connect with their nation and improve their lives. Local economies will suffer as a result, and the communities' ability to effectively address education, health, public safety, and other social issues will be severely hampered.

At this point, the FCC is still trying to scrounge up spectrum for an auction tentatively slotted for 2012.  That auction might allow for the creation of a national broadband offering.  However, even the FCC seemingly concedes that a national offering could be less efficient than a local-based one, backed by the community.

At the root of the issue is the lack of competition in the market.  High costs are certainly one barrier to entry.  And the tendency of state legislators/courts to cast a blind eye on anticompetitive tactics from their local telecom only worsens the matter.

Arkansas and South Carolina are reportedly considering measures similar to North Carolina's.

Some provisions of the NC bill certainly seem valid -- for example that the projects need to be approved by local voters in a special election and that town hall meetings must be held before hand.

However, other provisions are baffling.  For example, the services are banned from exercising the same pricing methodology as their corporate "competitors".  In that regard, if anything the bill creates an unlevel playing field.

Further, even if voters approve of it, cities are disallowed from using much of their funds to finance the project.  And there are restrictions on their ability to seek loans from the private sector.  To make matters worse, they have to pay themselves a tax on the service, which they cannot reinvest into improving the service.

And then there's the issue of the state panel created by NC's pending legislation.  That panel would be granted the power to override voters in a municipality and kill outright or otherwise stall to death broadband projects.  At a time when telecoms are pouring thousands in campaign donations to state senators and representatives in an effort to preserve their monopolies/duopolies, this certainly seems like a dangerous allowance.

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NC going downhill
By fishman on 4/5/2011 9:26:13 AM , Rating: 5
It's the best legislation money can buy.

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 9:59:47 AM , Rating: 5
I live in NC as well, but it seems as though this FCC administrator seems to understand how the statement government is reaming us in the ass on this one if you actually read the document.

RE: NC going downhill
By FITCamaro on 4/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 10:31:26 AM , Rating: 3

Laura Bush killed a guy, but I still like George W ;-)

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 10:52:33 AM , Rating: 1
You really comparing a traffic accident to what he did?

RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 10:58:33 AM , Rating: 4

Regardless, if we wrote people off because of what their relatives did, we'd be in a world of hurt.

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 11:07:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ah Brandon you're one of the good guys I actually missed around here heehe. Well played.

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: NC going downhill
By mcnabney on 4/5/2011 10:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
The theory here is that this will cement localized internet monopolies. Without competition there is no reason to provide better connectivity, lower prices, or adequate customer service.

It will be a long time before Google Fiber or Verizon FiOS arrives in Rocky Mount, NC. Until then, they have one choice, unless you count dial-up.

RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 10:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
Rocky Mount, NC -- the crossroads of drug trafficking through I-95 ;) Did they ever find that guy that was killing minority hookers up there?

They don't talk about it much on WRAL here for obvious reasons (i.e., it's not a ratings grabber).

RE: NC going downhill
By Uncle on 4/5/2011 8:10:43 PM , Rating: 1
I think another major reason they don't want muni internet other then having a monopoly is that the true cost would be out in the open and the big shits couldn't lie anymore.

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 10:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
*edit* I shouldn't have said NC was a Liberal bastion, most of is isn't. Just Charlotte, Raleigh, etc etc.

RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 11:00:06 AM , Rating: 3
I have the feeling that NC might be swinging back to Repub hands in the 2012 presidential election. Obama only had a narrow victory in 2008 IIRC.

RE: NC going downhill
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 11:40:58 AM , Rating: 1
I have the feeling that NC might be swinging back to Repub hands in the 2012 presidential election. Obama only had a narrow victory in 2008 IIRC.

I've given up on expecting people to do the obviously smart thing, or to even have common sense, when it comes to voting. Whoever has the most style will win, forget substance.

RE: NC going downhill
By Ammohunt on 4/5/2011 3:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
I concur thats why i am preparing for societal collapse...

RE: NC going downhill
By ekv on 4/5/2011 3:31:10 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps you're user name is an indicator?

Of course, if we go that route, I kind of like my chances ...

RE: NC going downhill
By Ammohunt on 4/6/2011 2:21:17 PM , Rating: 3
Nuclear war sure, but i am leaning more towards the Obama induced first world--> third world transition.

RE: NC going downhill
By ekv on 4/8/2011 7:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
first world--> third world transition
That is happening at a fast rate. Perhaps a fast interceptor can be made to work out in this situation? 8)

RE: NC going downhill
By cruisin3style on 4/5/2011 3:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not liberals, they're the bad guys!

RE: NC going downhill
By morphologia on 4/5/2011 4:57:43 PM , Rating: 1
The last time this many people made reference to their "firm belief in states' rights," we had a Civil War.

The last time we had this much bandwagon-jumping, the GOP was desperate to unseat Clinton. They failed, and their partisan extremism may have been the reason.

No matter how many people agree with you when you voice partisan ideals, keep in mind that for every 1 person that agrees with you there's between 2 and 100 people that either totally disagree, or are not affiliated with any party and disapprove of a hardline stance.

Hardline partisanhood does not win people over, it just gratifies people who already share your point of view. We wouldn't have half of the current crop of problems if both parties weren't so in love with partisanhood, and so ignorant of the nation's actual best interests.

RE: NC going downhill
By knutjb on 4/5/2011 11:29:39 PM , Rating: 1
Municipalities are are flawless entities perfect for implementing very expensive it projects. Think Bell Ca. It is deplorable for any level of government to take over any sector of private industry. Corruption in business typically ends in failure, corruption in government is much harder to ferret out and correct. Those huge retirement plans for the city of Bell will still be in place even after they go to jail and cannot be revoked.

Most of the internet regulations stem from municipalities tagging on "fees" in exchange for monopolistic contracts. That was common for the early cable period. To say that a municipality must take over because of whatever reason is pure BS.

Once established a bureaucrat in said municipality will decide no one should have access to porn "to protect our kids," but what is porn? Don't worry the municipality will decide for you. Then someone else will complain about this site or that only adding to the filter, all for the "public good." Once power is given to the government it thwarts any attempt to give it back. Certainly not without a long protracted fight where you end up paying both side's legal bills.

Clyburn has made a number of statements in regards to the internet that are disturbing to me. She has said internet is a civil right. A service a civil right? Really. That combined with her net neutrality diatribe guised as fairness for all, follow the money. When government picks winners we pay more and have less access.

I don't know if the state's bill good but any government entity directly controlling internet access is not.

RE: NC going downhill
By AntiM on 4/5/2011 11:12:07 AM , Rating: 4
I live in NC, and one thing that bothers me is that I haven't seen any coverage of this proposal in any local media. I'm afraid this will get passed with very few people being aware of how corrupt their politicians are. Those people living in Wake county should be aware of the bills sponsor, Marilyn Avila.

RE: NC going downhill
By Brandon Hill on 4/5/2011 11:14:14 AM , Rating: 2
You're right. Here in Raleigh, WRAL has put stories about it on its website, but they haven't talked about it on TV broadcasts.


RE: NC going downhill
By gamerk2 on 4/5/2011 11:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Because NC has trended conservative for decades now, so all the "liberal" print is out of business, or in low circulation. Just like how the Times is king in NY, and the Post is a joke; the sucessful papers are the ones which cater to the majority.

RE: NC going downhill
By knutjb on 4/5/2011 11:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... that is how business works. Provide a product people want and you stay solvent, piss them off... With all the web and cable/satellite sources papers are a dinosaur anyways.

I have yet to see any void of liberal ideas in the media since they are the vast majority of outlets nationwide.

By tastyratz on 4/5/2011 9:42:19 AM , Rating: 4
That bill is effing ridiculous. Let the voters do what they want in their town. Letting the broadband companies run the place and invent their own laws is just baffling. Since when has bribery become an acceptable practice by means of another name, lobbying.

Kudos for having the stones to admonish the corrupt and their weasel words.

RE: good
By Kurz on 4/5/2011 9:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing is I don't want to see an ISP that requires Taxes to stay afloat. If they can provide the same service using 'subscriber funds only' to pay down their loans and service maintenance, sure I am all for it.

RE: good
By mcnabney on 4/5/2011 11:08:48 AM , Rating: 3
Many of these ISPs got taxpayer guaranteed loans to build.

So the business gets to keep all of the profits, but if the ISP screws-up the taxpayer is stuck with the bad loan.

So you are already supporting them.

RE: good
By Jalek on 4/5/2011 8:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
That's acceptable socialism, if it benefits the already-wealthy then it's not considered a handout.

Don't ask me, I don't make these rules.

RE: good
By tastyratz on 4/5/2011 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 4
I don't want to see a new tax burden on taxpayers either, but these municiple projects are VOTED on and done at the town level. I don't really care if they vote to accrue the funds to build statues out of gold. If the taxpayers of that town voted and agreed to do so that is their RIGHT as voters to spend the money that way.

Who is the state to remove their right to spend their money as they vote to see fit? This is not a state wide or nation wide broadband plan, just allowing towns to respect voter wishes.

RE: good
By Uncle on 4/5/2011 8:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
What are you doing here. Your too logical and intelligent. Its a wonder you haven't been flamed.

RE: good
By YashBudini on 4/5/2011 9:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
Day ain't over yet.

RE: good
By Kurz on 4/6/2011 10:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
He is forgetting the orginial structure of this country.
The majority doesn't rule.

RE: good
By Kurz on 4/6/2011 10:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
There is still a minority of tax payers who don't want to foot the bill. This isn't a democracy... Its a Constitutional republic.

RE: good
By tastyratz on 4/6/2011 11:23:44 AM , Rating: 2
And the constitution has no provisions for municiple water OR internet, yet nobody questions one utility over the other. Someone can source their own well water just as their own internet service provider. If you don't want the service, vote. If you lose... too bad. We vote for a reason to make the majority happy. Any time there is a majority there will be an equally unhappy minority.

You think too federal and lose the context of this article. This is at the municiple level, where you are more likely to see best interest actually acted on... Remember those times? I think they predated the lobbyist.

RE: good
By Kurz on 4/6/2011 12:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
There is a stark difference between a luxury service and necessity service. Pumbing has many societial benefits like keeping your populous healthy.

So we vote to keep the majority happy? What happened back in the day when time and time again the majority voted to keep those of a different race down (Jim Crow law). Or when we vote to force those who make a higher income pay higher taxes. Or we vote to put in a Socialized healthcare that happens to be failing in every country its been tried.

Municiple level is where the most damage occurs!
It happens everyday from Basketball poles being ripped out from someone's property (Delaware). From a local business forced to stay closed for 6 months waiting for local government to approve a tear down and rebuild on a private property. Or even famously the protectionist schemes that local governments give to Cable Companies to give them monopoly control of a market. No Municiple level is just as corrupt or more so than the Federal government.

RE: good
By tastyratz on 4/6/2011 2:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Municipal level is inherently more transparent at the more simplistic level. Chances are there are far less people managing, far lower bribes involved, and you might even know some of those people who are elected personally.
Internet to me is as much if not more of a basic service as telephone. Your porn is luxury, your ability to utilize alternative methods to higher education, expand your business, seek employment, and research current events is a utility. A luxury use of a utility (think calling your friends) vs an essential use (think 911) do not condone an essential utility to a luxury.

Don't forget the compelling argument these utilities must make to build to convince a majority tax vote. It generally means loans to self sufficiency and a lower priced option.
Those large companies that get monopoly right contracts do so under provision of bringing an otherwise non existent service into the area. A monopoly is better than nothing.

The availability of affordable local internet services is good for the local economy and as a result the taxpayers pockets. To argument against if you choose not to use it is synonymous to paying for the school system even if you do not have a child. In the end you still benefit from a locally educated populace by means of reduced crime and economic impact.

This is not an argument to race, or standards of building approval (which exist to protect everyone). It is in fact a completely different plane. I would compare this to a bill where the local town wants to build a library but borders and barnes & noble lobbied a bill banning them from doin so.

Cmon 4G...
By quiksilvr on 4/5/2011 9:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
Get to 100 Mbp/s and 5ms ping so we can be rid of these cable companies once and for all.

RE: Cmon 4G...
By Mr Perfect on 4/5/2011 9:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
That would work if they didn't have data caps from 2000 on there. What is a 4G datacap these days? Something like 5 gigs?

RE: Cmon 4G...
By FITCamaro on 4/5/2011 9:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on the service. Sprint says unlimited.

RE: Cmon 4G...
By torpor on 4/5/2011 10:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Samsung Epic on sprint, I've pulled down 2 large system updates, use twitter, send photos up and down, get pushed email, and have dozens of apps installed, all over the air.

No nastygrams yet. Seems unlimited in practice, so far as I can tell. Although I'm still waiting for my 4G service....

RE: Cmon 4G...
By mcnabney on 4/5/2011 10:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
But you are still paying the extra $10/mo for a 4G device...

RE: Cmon 4G...
By torpor on 4/5/2011 2:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, and it sucks ant balls (which takes impressive skill).

But no cap on the service, 3G or 4G.

RE: Cmon 4G...
By Mr772 on 4/5/2011 3:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
But you are still paying the extra $10/mo for a 4G device...

And even with the $10 extra its sure to be cheaper than AT&T or Verizon.

RE: Cmon 4G...
By Jalek on 4/5/2011 8:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, mine sure is. Sprint's CEO talking about the definition of "unlimited" is also brilliant marketing as everyone else cuts back on their "unlimited" services.

RE: Cmon 4G...
By Motoman on 4/5/2011 9:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
Cellular service isn't the answer. It's nice, and good to have around...but the physics aren't there.

Wired connectivity is what needs to happen...even if it's just cable or DSL. FiOS would be great...but don't hold your breath.

By Cerin218 on 4/5/2011 10:15:37 AM , Rating: 2
Government created the corporation. There is little difference between the two.

By FITCamaro on 4/5/2011 10:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
The idea of a corporation was created because otherwise, the owners of a company could be directly sued for anything bad that happened as a result of whatever the company produced. Corporations shift liability from the owners to the entity of the corporation. This is necessary because otherwise who would take the risk of doing anything worthwhile without the massive risk of being sued. Especially today.

99.99% of the time, the owners of a company aren't the ones who design something that ends up hurting someone. So why should they be personally liable for that? Or even the engineer that made the mistake that caused the problem? Should someone go to jail because a mistake was made? No. The corporation handles the liability.

By mcnabney on 4/5/2011 10:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
I can see an upside of businesses making decisions that are influenced by risks to their own personal life/assets.

For example, I imagine that a lot more care would be taken when drilling for oil in the Gulf last year if the managers and boards of Transoceanic and BP necks were on the line.

Right now there are few, if any, negatives for taking big risks. Bet big and win = big bonus. Bet big and lose = regular bonus. However that loss often requires the government to come in and cleanup the mess (banking collapse, Superfund).

By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 11:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
However that loss often requires the government to come in and cleanup the mess (banking collapse, Superfund).

No because you see it was the Government who came out with this "too big to fail" mantra, not business. ANY business can, and usually should, fail. Nobody has to come clean the mess up, that was just politics. Capitalism and consumerism comes built in with ways to deal with that, it's a beauty.

For example, I imagine that a lot more care would be taken when drilling for oil in the Gulf last year if the managers and boards of Transoceanic and BP necks were on the line.

This is a perfect example of what Fit was talking about. Those men weren't on the rig being lax with safety and procedures were they?

By 3DoubleD on 4/5/2011 11:47:57 AM , Rating: 1
Do you really think the government came up with "too big to fail" all on their own? It is far more likely "too big to fail" was a threat from the CEO's of the failing giants. It does not make sense that the government would voluntarily give away all that money (well maybe you think so). They were threatened by these powerful corporations, caved in fear of a worse recession/mass unemployment, and gave away all that money.

So I would say you are absolutely wrong, business came up with "too big to fail". The government just went along with it out of fear that they were right. The politics of it was whether giving away the money was better than unemployed, unhappy citizens. However, after the dust settled, I'm sure anyone with half a brain can realize that it was probably a mistake - at least we agree there.

Also, you are disillusioned if you think that true democracy and capitalism exist anymore. When corporations can run the government like they do, it's a plutocracy. For all of the good intentions of many politicians, they all must answer to their real boss - not the people - but big business. Capitalism would say they fail, democracy would say don't give these crooks more money, but the plutocracy says "too big to fail".

By 3DoubleD on 4/5/2011 1:41:05 PM , Rating: 1
I've seen several speeches made by Congress members of how Wall Street was threatening doom and placing inappropriate pressure on them. You can google the videos yourself.

I'm beginning to think that you are focusing on the slogan "too big to fail" rather than the concept. I don't know who coined the term. It could have been the media or politicians, it doesn't matter. The term is simply a description of what Wall Street was threatening the entire time: "if we fail, we are taking everyone with us".

Wall Street was threatening catastrophe, they owned the Treasury, and the 2008 elections were around the corner. I agree with your assertion of the cold, calculating masterminding. Where we differ is who the enemy was. You claim it is our elected leaders - but the bailout was defeated when it came to vote. A few backroom deals later... and the bailout was passed.

It was nothing short of brilliantly executed (surely masterminded as you said), but you can't just stick a "blame the government" sticker on this when it was Wall Street in the driver seat the whole time! If the people run the government then it is their fault for allowing Wall Street to take over the Treasury and buy the votes they need to pass the bail-out. If you vote for a government that gives corporations free reign to bet-big/lose-big and manipulate the government in any manner they please, you are signing your country and freedoms away.

"Government" has becoming a bad word in America lately, and I can see why, look what the people have created! But if the people demanded that corporate influences in government be moderated, then perhaps they wouldn't be so appalled/surprised by the decisions made.

So as I see it, I blame corporate America first and the people second. Corporate America commit the crimes (repeatedly). America buys the mantra they sell in the media (government regulation = bad, the American dream, ect.) and then place blame on the government they elected when they should be blaming the original crooks.

And I don't mean the government should be heavily regulating the markets, I mean the government should be regulating the influence of corporations on their decision making, especially regarding the freedoms and quality of life of its citizens. How could such a thing be bad?

Also, I don't think all elected representatives are worthy of their position, but my point has been that even the few that do deserve to represent us are ineffective so long as the plutocracy exists. When I read the above article, I don't think "the NC government is terrible". Instead, I think about how terrible it is that the will of the people can be subverted by corporate lobbying.

By somedude1234 on 4/5/2011 4:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is a perfect example of what Fit was talking about. Those men weren't on the rig being lax with safety and procedures were they?

Do you honestly believe that the front-line workers have complete control over all aspects of safety? They are the ones who die when the bean-counters sitting back at HQ decide that safety spending can be eliminated or deferred.

There is a concerted effort from the top to minimize regulatory legislation, ensure that whatever inspections end up mandated are nothing more than rubber-stamps, extend maintenance windows out as far as possible, minimize spend on safety equipment, and on and on. Any possible measure which would increase safety in exchange for more spending will be fought by management.

By sviola on 4/5/2011 11:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
99.99% of the time, the owners of a company aren't the ones who design something that ends up hurting someone. So why should they be personally liable for that? Or even the engineer that made the mistake that caused the problem? Should someone go to jail because a mistake was made? No. The corporation handles the liability.

Well, I have to disagree with you. When a business owner or a manager decides to cut corners to save money, they should be made responsible for their actions. A few years ago this happened in Brazil:

a construction company that the owner decide to use beach sand in the mixing of concrete and the engineer was negligent and made some errors of calculation; both led to the building falling and killing dozens of people and many more loosing their homes and belongings.

They were prosecuted and found guilty. The engineer lost his diploma and was arrested (think he got 5 years in jail), while the owner of the company managed to keep out of prison by making tons of appeals (unfortunately, he passed away before the last appeal was judged), but had some of his possessions (I think 2 hotels he owned) seized and sold in order to compensate the victims.

By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 11:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's criminal negligence though. A bit different. People died.

By FITCamaro on 4/5/2011 3:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
As Reclaimer said, criminal.

Corporations don't protect people from knowingly choosing to sacrifice safety. But if an error in a line of code of an ABS system resulted in someone's death, should the engineer be sent to jail for missing it? How about the test team that missed it? It was an honest mistake.

Furthermore the vast majority of corporate lawsuits are frivolous attempts at getting money due to someone's stupidity. Imagine if all those were levied against a person instead of the corporation.

It should be legal
By cknobman on 4/5/2011 9:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
to host public executions of any "politician" who accepts "donations" from corporations and then suddenly "supports" legislation that favors that corporations "best interests".

RE: It should be legal
By FITCamaro on 4/5/2011 10:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
Sure just as soon as they start allowing executions of child molesters, rapists, murderers, long time repeat offenders, and the host of other people society has no use for that are far more dangerous.

Do you have anything worth saying?

RE: It should be legal
By cknobman on 4/5/2011 10:43:22 AM , Rating: 1
I think those people should be executed as well.

I have yet to see you make any worthwhile contribution in these articles. In fact all I see is you going from article to article replying to peoples comments with something snide and often illogical.

RE: It should be legal
By sorry dog on 4/5/2011 11:25:43 AM , Rating: 1
I thought that's what we all do. I mean I sure don't come here for the quality of the reporting.

RE: It should be legal
By Jeffk464 on 4/5/2011 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong they are not more dangerous, Government/corporate corruption messes up the entire system. I think they should outsource CEO punishment to China. :)

RE: It should be legal
By rdawise on 4/5/2011 7:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sure just as soon as they start allowing executions of child molesters, rapists, murderers, long time repeat offenders, and the host of other people society has no use for that are far more dangerous. Do you have anything worth saying?

Ummm...Isn't that what the Death Penalty is for (in the case of murders anyway)? Did I miss when they abolished that?

Alot of Gray Areas
By trooper11 on 4/5/2011 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
It looks like there are many provisions that could help or hurt depending on who is in charge at the time.

I dont see the problem with blocking the local government from using tax revenue to expand or improve the internet service for example. That sounds like an unfair advantage against private sector competitors. Again, i dont get why the people in these areas arent clamoring for fixing the issues with private options versus getting the government to take it over. i know id much rather see these local monopolies broken (monopolies that local and state governments help form) then making the government responsible for providing internet service.

Now if the local citizens voted to use the funds that way, i can see how that would be a problem. On the one hand, i think they should be allowed to make that choice via a vote, but then i would find it hard to believe that voters wouldnt have other needs for that tax revenue.

RE: Alot of Gray Areas
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/5/2011 11:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's also not fair to allow companies to 'cherry pick' the most lucrative locations to provide service, and only provide service to others on thier whim. If they are allowed to dominate in a certain area, they need to accept the responsibility of providing uniform availability. Otherwise, competition will be stifled.

RE: Alot of Gray Areas
By ATTFdiggs on 4/5/2011 2:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
How is it not fair for a company to chose where it provides service? If I owned an ISP in Alaska, I don't see how I should be responsible for providing equal service to every location in the state. I would focus on the populated cities, and forcing me to provide service to outlying areas would force me to shut down due to the expense with little return on investment. As the cliche' goes, Location, location, location.....

RE: Alot of Gray Areas
By somedude1234 on 4/5/2011 4:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Mandated coverage requirements are part of the mutually beneficial deal. The government entity (state, county, town) allows the company to use their rights of way, in exchange they require that the company agree to provide services to an agreed-upon portion of the population.

If a company wants complete control, they can go out and purchase access to every mile of land required to build out their network.

If they want free/cheap access to rights of way, they must be willing to accept compromises.

RE: Alot of Gray Areas
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/5/2011 6:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's because the provider that comes first can effectively prevent competition from entering. It also gives them the opportunity to provide 'just enough' coverage to make it uneconomical for others to enter the market. It's kind of like opening all the potato chip bags, taking the best ones from each bag, and leaving the crumbs for the next person. The last bags will never be sold. It's like charging somebody who lives on the second floor another dollar a month because their cable is longer.

Good service from the telecoms?
By nafhan on 4/5/2011 9:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
...isn't happening. That's the whole reason these municipal broadband roll outs started happening in the first place. Then, rather then making sure they roll out great service to other under served municipalities, the cable companies do their best to make sure the people in those areas can't get decent broadband at all by paying for state level legislation to keep any more from sprouting up. Incredible example of abuse of the legislative system for corporate gain.

RE: Good service from the telecoms?
By Mr772 on 4/5/2011 3:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Corp's were a part of the foundation of this nation. Now they will be resoponsible for the fall of this repubic. It's happening as we watch, idiots fight over the left and the right but they fail to realize the Dems and Cons serve the same master power and greed. They both are responsible for ever expanding governmet that is inefficient and unsustainable.

The more I see the the bickering between political sides the more I see suckers who have failed to realize they are being divided and easily beaten.

RE: Good service from the telecoms?
By Jalek on 4/5/2011 8:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's arguing over red uniforms or blue uniforms when the team sucks. The owners continue to make money though, so they don't mind keeping the players distracted.

By YashBudini on 4/5/2011 7:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
There used to be a saying in the US.

He with the most toys wins.

With the FCC it really is true. He with the most money wins, certainly with anything they have to recommend or admonish. This group has proven over the last few decades to the the most pro-corporate anti-people bunch since the Supreme Court declared, "Corporations are people too, so $crew you."

Unfortunately the FCC can't see what's going on because they have their head so far up Murdoch's a$$ (and others like him) it's become hard to distinguish the antics of the US government from the antics of the promiscuously corrupt Mexican government.

Perhaps the reason that prostitution is illegal in the US is that if it were legal the politicians would get less money for each BJ they administer and butt-job they accept. You know, the way the MIC does to US citizens with their no-bid contracts.

See it matters
By FITCamaro on 4/5/11, Rating: 0
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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