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The Internet Government Networking

Kansas Delays Municipal Broadband Ban 156

Mokurai writes with an update to a story from last week about legislation in Kansas that would have banned most municipal broadband, including the expansion of Google Fiber. Now, after the public backlash that erupted online, government officials have postponed the legislation's hearings, putting it on hold indefinitely. From the article: "Senate Bill 304 would prohibit cities and counties from building public broadband networks. The Commerce Committee, which [Sen. Julia Lynn] chairs, was scheduled to have a hearing Tuesday, but Lynn released a statement that hearings have been postponed indefinitely. 'Based on the concerns I heard last week, I visited with industry representatives and they have agreed to spend some time gathering input before we move forward with a public hearing,' Lynn said in a statement. 'We'll revisit the topic when some of these initial concerns have been addressed.' Lynn elaborated while exiting a Senate Judiciary hearing. The senator said she has instructed 'the parties' involved with the bill to address the public’s concerns. The bill was introduced by John Federico, a cable industry lobbyist."
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Kansas Delays Municipal Broadband Ban

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  • by Huntr ( 951770 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:57PM (#46154501)

    They didn't delay the ban because there was never a ban in place, just like last week when public broadband expansion wasn't restricted.

    There was a bill to do so. They tabled hearings on it because of public opinion. Learn the process and write intelligently about it.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:28PM (#46154959) Journal

    It is now time for all the states who put up barriers to or outright banned municipal broadband to look at the results and see if it serves the public interest. It does not. Everywhere these bills pass the incumbent cable companies immediately shut down investment because they no longer have to provide modern service.

    Washington state has such a law. Before it was enacted some municipalities were already started and so were grandfathered in. That is why you can have had gigabit fiber Internet to the home in Ephrata, WA (pop 8,000) for 14 years now, and Microsoft is building vast data centers out that way. It is also why you can't get gigabit fiber to your home in Seattle Metro area installed today, which enjoys a global peering point and is home to Microsoft, Amazon and a bunch of other big tech companies whose employees could really benefit from the service, and has 600 times the population density. This even though the cost of the equipment has come down by a factor of 100 in that 14 years.

    This is just wrong.

  • Re:Citizens Unite? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @07:02PM (#46156319) Homepage

    This is the USA. Corporate interests own the legislatures.

    The bill was introduced by John Federico, a cable industry lobbyist.

    What do you expect? Who let this asshat in the door?

    What do you think corporate funding of campaigns are going to result it? These corps aren't stupid, they're in it for returns. A congresscritter pet better earn it's keep or it's off the payroll.

    Thank Citizens United and rollback of campaign finance reform (won't anyone thing of those $$?)

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Informative)

    by guevera ( 2796207 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:50AM (#46159999)

    by providing incredibly expensive data runs to people the rest of the industry can't be bothered servicing because there's not enough of them to make a profit on.

    I seem to recall that we paid the telcos and MSOs to do just that. They then pocketed the money, bought off the regulators, and told us with a straight face that further network upgrades are too expensive and we should all just rely on LTE or something.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito