Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WBS: "LA Referendum Gives Impetus to McCain Broadband Bill"

What's Being Said (WBS) Dept.

It's not only "Silicon Valley" where Lafayette is the talk of the town. The fever has apparently spread to Washington which is said to be a-buzz. Hey, we're bicoastal!

This in from the Benton Foundation's email telecom news digest:
With Lafayette (LA) voters approving a referendum to let the city authorize up to $125 million in bonds to build a fiber network, Washington was a-buzz over municipal broadband networks and a bill introduced in June that would prevent states from barring public providers from supplying advanced telecom capability or services using it. The McCain-Lautenberg bill is designed to help municipalities achieve their goal of deploying high-speed Internet services to their citizens as quickly as possible. In Lafayette's case, the network represents a service as much as an economic development tool to attract more business development, said Jim Baller, an attorney for municipal interests. While the La. city's effort may be a successful first start, there are 14 states that have passed laws that put restrictions on cities investing in their own advanced communications services -- one reason Sen McCain introduced his bill.
[SOURCE: Communications Daily, AUTHOR: Anne Veigle]
(Not available online)
If our win can be used to demonstrate that it is possible to win against the big Teleco's and so teach our faltering representatives in Washington how to stand up for us all we should be proud. We'll have not only helped advance Lafayete, but our country as a whole.

McCain-Lautenberg's passage would mean a blossoming of home-owned telecom utilities. (And the passage of a bill sponsored by Sessions of Texas would be another step in path to returning unregulated monopoly power to the the regional teleco monopolies.) McCain-Lautenberg blew up during the final weeks of our campaign and didn't get enough attention here. Expect that to change...it's a very good bill.

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