Muni broadband gets a reprieve in North Carolina

New state regulations that would have throttled municipal broadband system efforts have again failed to reach fruition in North Carolina where they died of attrition in the House of Representatives.

The fourth and latest attempt to stop muni broadband systems was sponsored by Sen. David Hoyle. It evolved into a House bill and moved its way through the legislature until, just before adjournment, it was killed. Supported by incumbent telco and cable providers, the legislation would have effectively stopped new community entrants into the municipal broadband space.

Currently, five North Carolina towns--Wilson, Salisbury, Morganton, Davidson and Mooresville--own and operate their own systems and would have been exempt from the ban.

While the bill was supported by the state's service provider incumbents (Charter and Time Warner Cable control the state's cable business), it was raked across the tobacco fields by opponents, including the North Carolina League of Municipalities who charged that it was a "broadband killer" for rural communities who are on the short end of the broadband stick when it comes to service. Hoyle, though, said that was never the intent. "I've heard that BS and it's just not true--period," he told Mountain Xpress.

For more:
- Mountain Xpress has this story

Related articles:
North Carolina fights anti-municipal broadband bill
North Carolina legislators seek to curtail municipal broadband efforts

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