More from our media overlords

cableby Groupe Aménagement Numérique des Territoires

North Carolina broadband bill would eliminate level playing field
[Via Ars Technica]

Op-ed: In this guest editorial, Josh Levy of Free Press argues that a bill that would ban the construction of new municipal broadband networks would stifle competition and make it tough for existing municipal networks to survive.

Michelle Kempinksi lives in Cedar Grove, North Carolina, a township of about 2,000 on the fringes of Orange County. The county is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and thousands of plugged-in residents enjoying the benefits of high-speed broadband. In Cedar Grove however, life is a different story.

Kempinski is a landscape architect. Like others in her field, she uses complex AutoCAD (a 3D design program popular with engineers) and GIS (geographic information system) applications to produce and move around big files used to map and build in physical spaces.


Now, who benefits from a law that prevents anyone but the cable companies to provide broadband connections to people the cable companies refuse to provide broadband connections to?

When non-profit entities arise to provide this service to people, the cable companies get their paid help in the legislature to pass laws to prevent this service.

You know, broadband access should be run like a utility, not a purely for-profit business. The lack of diversity in access, and the lack of any incentives to provide any access to some people much less reasonable access, is causing he US to fall further behind most other countries here.

South Korea has AVERAGE connections speeds of 17 Mbps. In the US, the average is  4.6 Mbps but few of us actually achieve that at home. I’m lucky if I can get a couple of hundred Kbps downstream. Upstream is much slower.

The average broadband speed worldwide dropped in half over the last 2 years. Did anyone in the US see a 50% drop in their Internet bill? IN the US broadband costs dropped from 25% of a citizen’s income to 22%. In Europe the cost is 2% of someone’s income.

Thanks to the control of so many legislators by the media companies, I think it will be a very long time before we are competitive with the rest of the world. Funny how important regulation is to these companies when they can us it to kill any real competition.

2 thoughts on “More from our media overlords

  1. I have never understood WHY I had no choice in cable system. First it was Time-Warner the City Council approved, then Comcast. I understand that there are areas of town that have another kind of cable system, but I have no access to it. I thought monopolies were bad. Not in cable, apparently. And getting that way in Internet.

    1. There was supposed to be tighter regulation of cable and there was supposed to be competition. But all the cable companies got gobbled up. When cities tried to get control back, the cable guys went to the state.

      Corruption is not just at the Federal level. Now we have the state telling cities that they can not run their own Internet even if that is what the people voted to do.

      So far the state has left Tacoma alone. They created a utility spun off from Tacoma Power to provide cable, internet etc. They have a choice of three ISP providers with different packages. So for what I would cost me $30 to get in Tacoma would cost me $45 to get here. And the top speed from Tacoma is 15 Mbps. The fastest I can get maxes out at 7.5 Mbps.

      They should be run as utilities.

      Take care,

      Richard Gayle

Comments are closed.