Time Warner Cable, AT&T up to no good in the statehouse?

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Thanks to Gary Brown for the photo.
  • Thanks to Gary Brown for the photo.

Can anyone say monopoly?

From the FreePress.net:

They're at it again in North Carolina. Time Warner Cable and its cronies in the General Assembly are trying to ram through a new bill that would prevent local communities from creating their own high-speed Internet networks. A vote could come as early as this Wednesday.

If passed, this legislation would limit the building of new networks to private companies -- most of which refuse to provide service in rural areas.

Read more and, if you're so inclined, find out how to contact your representatives here.

And, here's The Salisbury Post's take on the issue:

Local officials say they have convinced state legislators to exempt Salisbury from a bill that would limit the ability of municipalities to operate broadband networks.

Salisbury recently launched Fibrant, a fiber to the home network that competes with private telecommunication companies to provide Internet, phone and cable TV service.

This marks the fourth year that legislation threatens municipal broadband systems like Fibrant.

But Mayor Susan Kluttz said state lawmakers have assured her they will rewrite the bill to exempt Salisbury and other cities with networks that are up and running.

“We were able to have a really positive discussion with them and explain to them what this situation means and the impact it could have on Salisbury,” said Kluttz, who spent a day and a half in Raleigh with Assistant City Manager Doug Paris meeting with legislators.

Sponsors pulled the bill, which was scheduled to be heard Wednesday by the Public Utilities Committee.

“They did not want to do anything to harm Salisbury or any other city,” Kluttz said. “There was already some partial exemption in the bill, and we expect to have full exemption.”

Read the entire article, by Emily Ford, here.

So, the giant corporate telecom companies and their political allies don't want to harm cities with this bill? That's mighty white of them.

But, what about the folks up on the mountain, outside of the city's jurisdiction? Or, don't we care about them anymore?

And, really? This is the fourth year the same companies have pushed for similar legislation?

Who the hell is running this state — us, or them?

Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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