Telcoms lobbyists have convinced 26 states to ban or restrict municipal broadband

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Texas prohibits municipalities and municipal electric utilities from offering telecommunications services to the public either directly or indirectly through a private telecommunications provider.
However, a few cities in the state have been able to get around these rules. Mont Belvieu, for instance, was able to begin building out a fiber network in 2016 to offer broadband services to residents.

The local district court decided that the city of Mont Belvieu had the authority to offer Internet service to residents because the Internet does not fall under the state’s definition of a telecommunication service.

So, maybe, possibly, if you can take it to court… Wonder how hard they are lobbying to fix that.

I’ve been asking my local telcos for fiber for a couple years now. Even through our neighborhood association. They don’t want to put the infrastructure in.


Our representatives are such a bargain.


In my town Verizon is busy moving people off of phone lines onto their fiber optic network, while at the same time claiming that because the phone subscriptions are so low that they no longer have to pay property taxes on their switch station.

They are evil.


I’ve been saving up to buy some representatives but I realized that they’re only a bargain because only one side bids. If I wanted to pay to get progressive laws passed (i.e. municipal broadband) it would cost a lot, but since it is usually only corporate lobbies bidding they get legislation for pennies on the dollar


I read the Michigan law blocking municipal broadband and had to laugh. I’ve jokingly said for years that all laws should be written at an 8th grade reading level and be no longer than a single page written in crayon. The intent being to get rid of riders and long confusing laws that could be argued to mean anything and used as precedent in wholly unrelated litigation.

So what made me laugh about this law is it’s short and very clear about what requirements a municipality must meet in order to provide broadband. What it lacks is any justification or reason for these rules.

That makes me want to change my requirements for a law. We’ll stick with the single page in crayon, 8th grade reading level concepts but then require an additional two pages with the arguments for and against the law.

Can you imagine the extraordinary innovation in crayon based writing instruments caused by this requirement?


What are the telecoms lobbyists’ provided justifications for these bans?

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They lose lots of money? Only a guess, mind.


Sometimes a law needs to be complex. The right wing loves to point out the Affordable Care Act is over a THOUSAND PAGES LONG nyuk nyuk, but it has to cover hundreds of different situations. I’m sure it could be abbreviated while introducing hundreds of loopholes and unintended consequences.


Telcoms lobbyists have bribed corruptible lawmakers of 26 states to ban or restrict municipal broadband


Point of order, @doctorow, the word is “telecom” with an additional “e” (FTA Municipal Broadband Is Roadblocked Or Outlawed In 26 States ) and sorry for the bother/pedantry.

I am fascinated that for whatever reason, Alabama has yet to crater to the telecom lobbyists. Is this a sign for hope? Will they be able to hold their own and for their municipal entities to keep their sovereignty? Or is the dealmaking still in progress?

Truly. Fascinating. I wonder how this is going to turn out.

Now I have Telstar as an earworm, though.

Telstar by The Tornados, 1962: YouTube
Telstar instrumental music: wikipedia.
Telstar communications satellites: wikipedia.


It’s also seemingly within the constitutional mandate of the Postal Service …


(Stating what better be obvious but just in case.)
Convinced with the persuasion bought by spreading the wealth.
You know: Simple, classic bribery. OG.
There is no case for, just bribes.

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