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Telco Appeals Minnesota City's Fiber-Optic Win 162

tsa writes "In a predictable move, TDS Telecom has filed an appeal after its complaint against Monticello, Minnesota's new fiber network was tossed by a county judge in early October. As you may remember, the city decided to build its own fiber-optic network after the telco made it clear they wouldn't build it because it wouldn't be economically feasible for them. TDS Telecom then changed its mind and sued the city for unfair competition."
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Telco Appeals Minnesota City's Fiber-Optic Win

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  • I call BS (Score:2, Informative)

    by SnatchMan ( 1062110 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @12:33PM (#25687927) Homepage
    This is the company with a monopoly on [some|most] of rural MN telecommunications and broadband...
  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @12:58PM (#25688103)
    The city probably has a legally binding franchise agreement with the telco that says that for certain concessions, most usually guaranteed quality levels for service to residents and competitive prices, that the telco may maintain a legal monopoly in the city. Once the telco said they would finally build the fiber network the city was more than likely in violation of an agreement they signed.
  • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @01:18PM (#25688225)

    According to TFA (and TF previous /. stories), they don't have any such agreement. They were suing just to try to stifle competition - ironically because they said such competition was uncompetitive.

    If you understand any of that, you may have a future career in law!

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @01:22PM (#25688247) Journal

    Well, not quite true about the delay at all. The delay period is already over. As soon as the judge made his decision, Minnesota can do anything that they want up to the day of whenever an appeal decision is made. Even if an appeal does favor the shitty telco. Most state constitutions have laws that say things like "if you did something when it was legal, you can't repeal it later".

    Expensive and long process? Definitely. Will they put off another city? Not if the appeal fails. In fact, the fact that this article is a slashdot headline indicates that the US is watching, thus the decision will affect other states decisions to build out networks or not. Establishing precedence, etc is a big deal and can occur due to an appeal.

    Methinks you want to be more careful with the information you put out.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @02:04PM (#25688503)

    Having been in the private utility biz, I know better than to say, "Not economically feasible. We're not building it." We always said, "Not at this time, but it is in our long term plans".

    Within the territory in which we were franchised to operate, we were required to build out to any customer requesting service. As long as we were compensated for expenses beyond those for which revenue would cover costs. That means, as long as the customer paid the extra cost, it was always economically viable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2008 @05:28PM (#25689755)

    Corporations seriously need to be sent a message (before it's too late, if it is not already) that they are here to serve us, that their interests have the lowest priority when they are at odds with those of the community and that they will be gone the moment they stand in the way of advancement.

    The problems are:
    1) Because of the legal basis for a corporation, they aren't here to serve the community, their customers, or humanity; they're here to serve the stockholders.
    2) Due to lobbying and corporations' control of mainstream media, corporate interests are actually served at a higher priority than those of US citizens.
    3) Since the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution grants corporations all the rights of a natural born human being, the smack-down that so many corporations so deeply deserve is not likely to come.

    We need to redesign the entire basis for what a corporation is. It's the only way to change the end result; they are what we made them.

    If you're interested in this topic, check out the outstanding Canadian documentary "The Corporation." Here's their website []. Interviewees in the film include Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, and Milton Friedman. The extra features on the DVD (mostly full versions of the interviews excerpted in the film) are extensive and worth seeing if you enjoy the film. I checked it out from the library and will probably own it soon.

  • Re:Would be great (Score:2, Informative)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @06:18PM (#25690049) Journal

    I'll agree with that. At least, I would if by "Minnesota" you meant "the world".

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson