North Carolina fights anti-municipal broadband bill

It appears that municipalities might have the upper hand over area telcos and cable operators as North Carolina's Senate Finance Committee decided to postpone passing a law that would require cities and towns to get voter okay before getting money to construct a broadband network.

Doug Paris, an assistant to Salisbury's city manager, which got a $30 million loan to construct a Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network in Salisbury, NC says the proposed bill that's mainly supported by the state's largest service providers (Time Warner Cable, AT&T and CenturyLink), is in many respects another move to prevent cities and towns to provide competing broadband services.  

"This is another iteration of the previous ones we have seen over the last three years that are designed to contain and cripple existing systems, and set the bar so high for new systems that it would be difficult for communities to move forward," he said.

Despite the promise that Salisbury and others propose with their broadband plans, Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, will help municipalities from shouldering potential losses if they can't maintain a large customer base. "They're going to own a cable system that may become obsolete and they're going to say to us (legislators), 'Please save us,'" Hoyle said, pointing to the case of Davidson and Mooresville, NC that built out their own cable system, but now face a $6.4 million loss that they must cover because they have been unable to reduce customer churn.

For more:
- AP has this article
- DSL Reports has this perspective

Related articles:
North Carolina legislators seek to curtail municipal broadband efforts
North Carolinians learn that cable TV is an expensive do-it-yourself proposition
Salisbury, NC progresses with its municipal FTTH deployment