26 U.S. states ban or restrict local broadband initiatives

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.

According to a new report by comparison site Broadbandnow, 26 states have implemented laws that prohibit or severely limit community broadband projects.

The report sets out a state-by-state investigation into what limitations have made their way from lobbyists pens to the law books and the picture is pretty bleak. According to the report, “over $92 million was spent in 2018 alone to protect business interests at the national and state level.”

Six states have "direct sale prohibitions on municipal broadband" – Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. For the other 20 states identified, the limitations range from ‘bureaucratic barriers’ and ‘prohibitive referendum requirements’ to population caps and excessive taxes.

Whatever your view on the ongoing debate around net neutrality, the major concern for many people has been a lack of trust in big telecom and the criticism that these companies abuse their monopolistic positions in order to maximize profits.

It’s not all bad news however, as the report does set out some efforts by federal and state lawmakers to keep telecom markets competitive, such as a bill put forward by Democrats that aimed to prohibit the kinds of regulations that kill municipal and community projects. While the Community Broadband Act of 2018 was ultimately unsuccessful, it’s at least a sign that this is an issue that Congress is aware of.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
And telecommunications are not the only state restricted business. State rights are very important, but when a state implements laws and regulations that set the priority of business over the priority of the rights of citizens, it's simply wrong and undemocratic. This is where Federal legislation could be helpful; not to direct states what to do but to tell them what they cannot do and that is to sacrifice individual liberties for the benefit of a few's pocketbook. If you don't make your voice heard you are more a part of the problem than of the solution ......
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
When more of the legislators that allowed this in the first place are hit in their own pockets, charged excessive fees, get :poop: customer service, and then are asked to buy and pay more despite all the :poop: they are getting, then may more states will follow suit and overturn these insane laws that allow this.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
I don't understand how this is legal. I'd like to see a supreme Court ruling on this as this legally gives people a monopoly. Are monopolies still illegal in the US or was that repealed?
Even worse, it's a monopoly over a utility that is necessary for modern life. Everything is going online.
 
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J

JakeAndrew77

I am really getting bored with editorials that ban my commentary of someones post just because I have to correct them on their moronic outburst of trying to tie the current administration with what has been going on almost since the advent of Ma-bell. Please keep sane and don't be a political zealot people.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
I am really getting bored with editorials that ban my commentary of someones post just because I have to correct them on their moronic outburst of trying to tie the current administration with what has been going on almost since the advent of Ma-bell. Please keep sane and don't be a political zealot people.
I feel your pain - there is clear political bias on the part of certain moderators. I've had multiple comments deleted and even received blatantly inappropriate warnings for daring to defend myself against attacks from other posters. To be honest, however, I wouldn't even bother rebutting someone so stupid that they can't understand the economic differences between Romania and the US.
 

mailpup

TS Special Forces
Rebut an argument without denigrating other members. That's why posts get deleted, not because of your strawman reasons or political positions. If you are incapable or unwilling to do that, then it's on you.
 

VARTAILAK

TS Rookie
Since when does elected Officials tell us what to do? They represent US and WE tell them what to do. We elected them to be OUR mouthpiece. They WILL SAY WHAT WE WANT THEM TO SAY.
If they don't agree then it's out the door for them!
It's time to take OUR Government back!
 

Jose Shavez

TS Rookie
I don't understand how this is legal. I'd like to see a supreme Court ruling on this as this legally gives people a monopoly. Are monopolies still illegal in the US or was that repealed?
You mean like the government railroads or the government run grocery stores? Oh wait, the government doesn't and shouldn't compete with private Enterprise. Or we'll be asking corporations to pay to fund their competition in the form of taxes.
 

Jose Shavez

TS Rookie
And telecommunications are not the only state restricted business. State rights are very important, but when a state implements laws and regulations that set the priority of business over the priority of the rights of citizens, it's simply wrong and undemocratic. This is where Federal legislation could be helpful; not to direct states what to do but to tell them what they cannot do and that is to sacrifice individual liberties for the benefit of a few's pocketbook. If you don't make your voice heard you are more a part of the problem than of the solution ......
What personal liberty is being limited? The right to cheap internet? The right to good customer service?
 

Jose Shavez

TS Rookie
LOL !!!

they voted for Trump, why are you surprised? they want to pay 100 $ for low speed internet.
In Romania 1GB/s Fiber Optic it's less than 8Eur/month ...
You're comparing a country the size of Idaho to the United States? It's a little more challenging interconnecting the US than it is Romania.
 
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Jose Shavez

TS Rookie
I don't understand how this is legal. I'd like to see a supreme Court ruling on this as this legally gives people a monopoly. Are monopolies still illegal in the US or was that repealed?
Even worse, it's a monopoly over a utility that is necessary for modern life. Everything is going online.
Internet is not a monopoly, never has been, never will be. The internet is also not a utility. Never has been, never will be.
 

loki1944

TS Maniac
LOL !!!

they voted for Trump, why are you surprised? they want to pay 100 $ for low speed internet.
In Romania 1GB/s Fiber Optic it's less than 8Eur/month ...
You're comparing a country the size of Idaho to the United States? It's a little more challenging interconnecting the US than it is Romania.
LOL, exactly. People should get their basic geography down before going for a statement like that.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
LOL !!!

they voted for Trump, why are you surprised? they want to pay 100 $ for low speed internet.
In Romania 1GB/s Fiber Optic it's less than 8Eur/month ...
You're comparing a country the size of Idaho to the United States? It's a little more challenging interconnecting the US than it is Romania.
LOL, exactly. People should get their basic geography down before going for a statement like that.
And the US is composed of "smaller countries/states" that can generally self-govern themselves. How is that any different from what Romania can do? The biggest difference is that in Romania you have multiple choices for 1Gbps.

If it was one monolithic state then Trump would have lost the elections based on the popularity vote.

The US is just stuck with anti-competitive practices that inhibit any real development. The UK has the same problem with BT basically having a monopoly and refusing to upgrade. You are forced to buy slow sub 100Mbps connections on unreliable networks and expensive plans.

I don't even know how IT companies are even able to work properly in London. But anyway, the current trend is that they are moving business because of Brexit to France, Germany and Romania. More work and a better salary for me :D
 
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ypsylon

TS Booster
LOL !!!

they voted for Trump, why are you surprised? they want to pay 100 $ for low speed internet.
In Romania 1GB/s Fiber Optic it's less than 8Eur/month ...
You're comparing a country the size of Idaho to the United States? It's a little more challenging interconnecting the US than it is Romania.
That maybe so, but it is a fact that all electronic infrastructure in US is on average 30% cheaper than anywhere else in the World with the exception of China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan - places where it is manufactured in the first place.

It is also no secret that US is oligarchic kleptocracy state, where any kind of independent endeavor is quickly stifled if it is against corporate interests. This is classic example. Why 26 states outright ban small scale development if it WILL benefit overall broadband infrastructure country-wide? It's utter nonsense.

For the record I pay about 15 Euros for 200Mb/Static IP FTTH from tiny local company (8 employees), miles (rather kilometers) from big cities - I can purchase even 5000Mb plan, but there is no point, 200 is more than enough for my needs. No caps, no filtering. It's unheard of in the EU for example for any government banning small scale, local network development because it will hurt corporations. Quite the opposite actually!

Being history/geography buff, I fully comprehend the size of US of A. I really do, but AT&T, Verizon or Comcast or any other of these crocks are not interested in providing good infrastructure. They want to invest as little as possible and earn as much as possible for what little they offer. Read plenty of horror stories about throttling network traffic when watching services like Netflix. How the F are they allowed to do that? You pay for the network and infrastructure required, yet corpo can extort more $ from users if they want 'uncapped' network. WTF is going there?! Land of the free? You kidding right.