NC Last in Broadband

According to a June 2013 report issued by the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, North Carolina ranks dead last – superseded even by Mississippi now- with only 17% of its households subscribing to the level of broadband the FCC deems necessary to engage in modern life.

Here's the email I sent to my legislators, Jim Davis and Joe Sam Queen....

According to a report in June from the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, North Carolina now ranks dead last in the nation in broadband access, with only 17% of homes subscribing to the level of internet/communications access that the FCC deems necessary to participate in modern life. For the first time in decades, Mississippi is finding opportunity after opportunity to "thank God for North Carolina."

Perdue of no use to citizens: fails to veto NC Broadband bill

Gov Perdue has drunk Time Warner's kool-aid and says she will not veto H129, a bill forbidding government bodies in NC from creating our own Broadband networks. Now there will be even less competition to stimulate some improvements in our telecom infrastructure.

Might as well have a Republican governor. Clearly what matters is the legislature.

Rep. Howard and Sen. Apodaca squirm on TV

NBC 17's Justin Moss took a look at the money flowing from Time Warner Cable to the primary sponsors of H.129, the so-called "Level Playing Field" bill that would bury municipal broadband systems.

If you've been waiting to see the "deer-in-the-headlights" look of a politician caught with her hand in the cookie jar, watch Rep. Howard's reaction at the end of this video. It is PRICELESS!

UPDATE: Urgent action needed

Sorry to hit and run, but I'm late for a meeting and just saw this post at Ed Cone's blog about a power play in progress on the broadband front. Check it out and suggest courses of action. Pretty please?


Here is a sample e-mail message to send to all of the Committee members involved:

Subject: Don’t You Dare Vote for an Anti-Municipal Broadband Bill!

Hagan follows through with funding for rural broadband expansion

During her campaign in 2008, Kay Hagan traveled to rural areas of the state and held kitchen table discussions with residents of those counties to discuss the need for broadband expansion. Yesterday she announced that North Carolina would get a little over $2 million to expand broadband to underserved areas of this state.

“This investment in North Carolina will help boost economic development in our rural communities and keep them vibrant,” said Hagan. “Increasing broadband access means connecting our communities to the world and adding more jobs in our state in this tough economy.”

I organized one of these kitchen table discussions for then candidate Kay Hagan. A neighbor, who raises chickens and cattle held the event at his home. We were trying to get about 12-15 people in rural Union County to attend. There were more than 30 people eager to speak with Kay about everything from broadband to roads.

Raising the broadband bar in North Carolina

[Cross-posted from MarkTurner.Net]

There's been plenty afoot in the N.C. General Assembly this session regarding broadband Internet, as those couple of you who read my blog are well aware. Now there's an effort by the telecom industry to define "broadband service" in North Carolina. House Bill 283 would define any Internet service with speeds faster than 1.5 Mbps down and 384 kbps up. If that doesn't sound blazing fast to you, you're not alone.

NC Democrats Push Anti-Municipal Broadband Legislation, Threatening to Derail Federal Stimulus Money

As reported by the Independent Weekly, Representative Ty Harrell (D-Wake) and State Senator David W. Hoyle (D-Gaston) have penned SB1004 (and it's House counterpart, HB1252), known as the "Level Playing Field/Cities/Service Providers" bill. Contrary to its name, the bill seeks to prevent municipal governments from installing high-speed broadband or wireless internet service and acting as an ISP, even if commercial ISPs have no plans to offer service to their communities.

Close on the heels of Time Warner Cable's announcement that it would begin testing "tiered bandwith" caps in Greensboro, and the annoucement of Salisbury's plan to follow in Wilson's footsteps and provide fiber to the home for its residents (promising symmetrical speeds of up to 100Mbps), these bills not only threaten the possibility that North Carolina will finally claw its way above the national average in residential broadband access, and do so in an affordable manner, it also threatens North Carolina's access to the $4.7 billion the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has set aside from the $787 billion stimulus package to bring broadband to underserved and un-served communities.

Read on for legislative contact information and learn why North Carolina isn't likely to receive fiber internet any time soon...

HB1587 Changed, Sent to Study Committee

From many reports of those who attended Tuesday's NC House Finance Committee meeting it appears we dodged a bullet. HB1587, the so called Local Government Fair Competition Act, was changed and a new one took its place. The new bill calls for a committee to "study local government owned and operated communication services."

For the back story on the fight against this bad legislation read this BlueNC post. Cross posted from

Stop NC HB 1587: Prevent Big Telecom from killing Muni WiFi

As I write this NC HB 1587 is before the Utilities Committee for consideration. Big Telecommunications companies want to prevent democratically elected bodies from bringing broadband Internet access to everyone.

Please ask your state Rep to vote No or ask their colleague to vote No!

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