Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kansas Attempting To Block City Broadband Internet Access Programs By State Law

This is hard to believe, but there it is, on Daily Kos:
... but not in Kansas!
... the state of Kansas Legislature[] took on a new target: Stop Google Fiber.   And not just google fiber, make sure that cities cannot invest in any broadband network technologies.
(1) Offer to provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications or broadband service; or
(2) purchase, lease, construct, maintain or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications or broadband service to one or more subscribers.
This is almost beyond comprehension, until you read the one-line postfix:
7:40 PM PT: This piece of legislation may be coming to a state near you. It's an ALEC proposal.
It is still a puzzle. Surely all broadband providers would be overjoyed if cities, towns and counties invested in their services. It must be something about the Internet itself: does ALEC perceive lefties as better than righties at using the Internet for political purposes? Do fundagelicals perceive the 'net as the devil's handiwork? C'mon, there's got to be a reason...

I know Texas has done some crazy things (e.g., from the state textbook committee), but I can't imagine any state where the employer base is highly dependent on 'net technology... and believe me, that describes the "awl bidness" in Texas, packed full and running over... would tolerate this kind of restriction. Can anyone inform me on just what aspect of full‑blown right‑wing bat‑shit craziness this reflects?

AFTERTHOUGHT: Reading the link pointed to by Kos (see above), which includes a quote from the law stating its purpose, leaves me even more puzzled. This is just plain nuts!


  1. The telecoms are pushing these laws to keep localities from entering the market in any way, even markets that the telecoms have no interest in entering themselves.

    Pennsylvania already has one of the these laws, and it was used to keep Philadelphia from creating its own WiFi system for the city. The city wanted to recoup some of the costs of linking the city government together by offering a new service to residents, and the telecoms went ballistic. They don't want anyone to compete with them, and they go to absurd lengths to prevent it.

    1. Bryan, I used to believe in capitalism until I realized that once corporations reach a certain size, they have no interest in the "miracle of the marketplace" except to forestall its operation with as many anticompetitive practices as they can dream up. And these days, government either seems to have no interest in preventing those practices, or else there are so many Republican judges that corp's don't even need to bother buying them to prevent any constraints on their anticompetitive activities. These days, when someone piously intones something about the "free market," I reply, "show me one!"



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