North Carolina lawmakers finalize anti-municipal broadband bill

North Carolina incumbent telcos and cable companies gained another victory in their drive to stamp out municipal broadband service as the state's House of Representatives on Thursday put the final touches on their anti municipal broadband bill.

In an 84-32 vote, the House approved changes the state Senate asked for that now requires Gov. Beverly Perdue's approval.

The governor's spokeswoman Chris Mackey, would only say Perdue will review the bill when she gets it.

If the bill becomes law, any municipality that wants to offer telecom services would not only be required to to hold public hearings detailing their plans, but also parse out their telecom business as a separate unit and not be allowed to offer services below cost. In addition, municipalities would not be able to get funding for any network rollout out without public approval and like incumbent carriers they would be required to make payments to their tax bills.

However, five other municipal-based service providers, including Wilson, Salisbury, Morganton, Davidson and Mooresville, are exempt from the new rules, but they will have limited network reach.

For more:
- CED via AP has this article

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