After a number of victories, the momentum has recently turned to the Telco side of the muni fight.
On the plus side, we have not yet lost anything definitively. There is still time for citizens in these states to make this an issue. But I’m having the feeling I usually reserve for the Boston Red Sox in August.
Well, let’s see if we can’t make this our 2004 World Series. Anybody in these states interested in trying to fight these bills, let me know and I will try to put you in touch with folks on the ground there.
I’m posting separately a lengthy piece from Dave Hughes describing the 4/5 subcommittee hearing about Colorado’s anti-muni bill.
A funny thing happened in W. Va., according to the Charlestown Daily Mail, some whacky W. Va state reps drafted legislation without showing it to Verizon first. While the article does not use the technical term “hissy fit,” that appears to be have been the reaction of Verizon’s W. Va. lobbyist on discovery that state legislators dared to legislate without their prior review. Sadly, tho, it appears the Telecom industry may enjoy the last laugh. The W. Va. Senate caved to the pressure from Verizon and amended the bill to merely study whether municipalities should have the right to deploy municipal broadband networks.
Despite a really wonderful study by the Florida Municipal Energy Association demonstrating how muni systems improve local economies and foster competition, Florida’s anti-muni bill continues to gain support in their legislature. Governor Jeb Bush is apparently supporting the bill.
As chronicled on the Save MuniWireless website, The TX House of Rep. Subcommittee initial struck out the anti-muni provisions of their telecom deregulation bill, HB 789. An only mildly less onerous version was restored as an amendment on the floor of the House and passed. The Bill is now pending in the TX Senate.
Stay tuned . . .