Governor won't sign bill, so N.C. broadband restrictions become law

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue's will neither approve nor veto legislation that effectively outlaws new municipal broadband developments in her state--or at least makes it very tough for communities to establish their own broadband networks. The governor's inaction means a restrictive bill passed by the legislature becomes law by default.

Perdue issued a statement that seemed to say she opposed the bill but would not veto it: "Instead, I call on the General Assembly to revisit this issue and adopt rules that not only promote fairness but also allow for the greatest number of high quality and affordable broadband options for consumers."

That decision did not sit well with Free Press, among others, whose president-CEO Craig Aaron called for "federal legislation that would protect the rights of communities to build their own municipal networks."

Aaron's statement also took aim at "big cable companies" that "view these municipal upstarts as major threats and are willing to shower local legislatures with campaign contributions to block their way," he said, noting that "millions of people across the country lack access to broadband Internet because big companies like Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and AT&T (NYSE: T) chose not to extend services to where they live."

For more:
- Engadget has this story
- and this Free Press news release

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N.C. governor's pen poised to sign anti-muni broadband bill
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Muni broadband gets a reprieve in North Carolina