Sunday, July 01, 2012

South Carolina Bans Municipal Broadband

Municipal broadband efforts haven't exactly taken off, but this sort of legislation is a very bad sign for the future.

Cyrus Farivar …South Carolina passes bill against municipal broadband:

South Carolina has become the latest state in the union to pass a state-level bill that effectively makes it difficult, if not impossible, for municipalities to create their own publicly-owned Internet service provider that could compete with private corporations. The bill passed the South Carolina General Assembly and Senate on Wednesday and awaits the signature of the state’s governor.

"It’s not an absolute ban, but it makes it pretty tough," Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, a digital advocacy group, told Ars on Thursday.

Oddly, the bill also defines broadband as being "not less than one hundred ninety kilobits per second," which is pretty laughable by any measure. Municipal broadband watchers also say that the bill’s passage shows the effective lobbying of AT&T, the state’s largest telco, who has contributed thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.


Christopher Mitchell said...

By "haven't taken off" I presume you mean the number of projects. I say that because the best places in the nation to get broadband are cities with muni networks - Chattanooga, Bristol, Lafayette, and Morristown have universal access to a gig and generally some pretty affordable lower tier prices. If you are interested in where the projects have taken off, let me recommend my community bb map.

Unknown said...

Great comment Christopher, and great resource. I did mean the number of projects.


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