Back Senate broadband bill

  • Follow Letters

I’m responding to your Jan. 26 article “Bill would limit government Internet systems.” The article reports that local officials oppose Georgia Senate Bill 313, which was introduced recently by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers. That opposition is shortsighted and, if allowed to prevail, would harm Georgia’s taxpayers and its economy.

S.B. 313 would not prevent public broadband networks from being built in areas truly underserved by the private market. All it would do is require lawmakers to hold hearings on their broadband plans, and put them up for a vote. If local taxpayers are convinced, the projects would move ahead. Public broadband networks are notorious for running over budget and providing service to few people. Georgians deserve to have some tough questions answered if they’re going to foot the bill.

Also, I want to correct the record. The article stated that S.B. 313 would require public broadband networks to charge the same rates as private networks. This is wrong. The legislation clearly states public networks may charge either the rate private providers do, or, if it is less than that rate, it may charge subscribers the actual cost to the utility for providing the service.

As the officials quoted pointed out, broadband is an important economic development tool. But not every policy for achieving access makes economic or budgetary sense. S.B. 313 merely would require local governments put additional practices in place to ensure their plans do. That’s good for the Georgia economy, and for taxpayers.

Linda Parnell

Evans

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
81496
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 04:03 am
0
0
The realization coming to our

The realization coming to our lawmakers is government has no place competing with our tax paying private companies. These companies paid to lay cable and provide whatever else it is they do taking a risk in the hopes of profits. Their efficiency is undeniable.

In Columbia County, the administrator spent countless hours and committed the county to millions of dollars on this project while stating it would provide competition for existing cable companies. Many commented at the time this was government interference with private business and nothing is free. I guarantee you ever dollar the county gets and every dollar a cable bill decreases is coming out of someone’s pocket.

Where does supposedly conservative Columbia County draw the line? Are government built cell towers next? Internet service providers? Gas stations?

Restore sanity and get county government out of private business.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 02/10/12 - 07:30 am
0
0
"A public provider shall

"A public provider shall offer its service at a price or rate to each subscriber that is either (1) equal to or greater than the price or rate for comparable service of competing private providers or (2) equal to or greater than the incremental direct, imputed, and indirect costs of providing service to such subscriber."
http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/fulltext/sb313.htm

Riverman1
81496
Points
Riverman1 02/10/12 - 09:53 am
0
0
Techfan, let's think about

Techfan, let's think about that for a moment. So we are going to say new companies that use the government laid cable lines can compete with existing cable companies, but they have to charge the same prices basically, right? The problem is as an existing company loses subscribers, it's profit decreases and it is going to have to increase its prices. If the company using the government lines HAS to charge the same, their prices go up, too. How does this interference with private enterprise help anyone? It simply increases costs for subscribers, in addition to costing the government taxpayers millions. Keep government out of private enterprise.

faithson
5103
Points
faithson 02/10/12 - 11:17 am
0
0
You'all do realize that

You'all do realize that without government support, rural electricity would have taken decades to complete, if at all considering the initial infrastructure costs. Broadband (information) is just as valuable in the 21st Century as electric was to the 20th.

dichotomy
31717
Points
dichotomy 02/10/12 - 11:53 am
0
0
I'm not sure that a

I'm not sure that a government installed and operated broadband network is the way to go. This is not the first time we have dealt with utilities for under served rural areas. Maybe we should have done something like this instead of just giving money to local governments. The taxpayer loans got repaid, the pricing was competitive on a not-for-profit basis, and the government was not directly involved in a retail market. I guess it's just gotten too easy to throw taxpayer money at a problem, wash their hands and walk away, and let the courts deal with the problems they created.

For those of you who don't know how 9 out of 10 rural homes got hooked up to electricity:

"The idea of providing federal assistance to accomplish rural electrification gained ground rapidly when President Roosevelt took office in 1933. On May 11, 1935, Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037 establishing the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). It was not until a year later that the Rural Electrification Act was passed, and the lending program that became the REA got underway."

scott_p
0
Points
scott_p 02/14/12 - 06:38 pm
0
0
Linda, you just dont

Linda, you just dont understand this bill. First, why on earth should the state impose rules on local governments that with the support of their people want to invest in fiber to draw business and increase their local tax base...thats the obvious. Lets look at some other things. Chip Rogers seems to think that 200 kbs (thats bits not bytes) is sufficient to be called broadband. Thats just a smidge better than dial up. Why dont you try downloading a netflix video at that speed (hint...you cant unless you plan a couple of days in advance and dont use your connection). Also, this idea that its costing tax payers money...WRONG. Municipalities issue bonds against future revenue costing tax payers nothing if allowed to build out unfettered by state regulation...which also leads in to the next point...This bill requires private companies be asked to provide service first...sounds reasonable but the language is vague enough to allow a deep pocketed (think AT&T) ISP to challenge any aspect of the build out in court, something local communities cant afford and Chip wants to make easier. The last point is that this bill is the same bill written by and paid for by the large ISPs that was passed in NC (where prices and service promptly went up...and down respectively). People, you need to be informed. Local government is not the bad guy. They live where we live and have our interests in mind. Chip Rogers has campaign cash in mind...dont be fooled (he got several thousand from large ISPs)

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs