Indiana turning its back on communities

Submitted by acohill on Mon, 01/31/2005 - 08:42

Add Indiana to a growing list of states that have legislatures turning their backs on communities. Legislations is being considered there that would prohibit communities from providing telecom services.

Even though I think that communities ought to stay out of the service business and limit their investments to telecom infrastructure, I think that decision ought to be left to the community, and not be pre-empted by the state legislature.

This is a serious issue that is being co-opted by the incumbents, who are lobbying legislators vigorously. It's not that the legislators are necessarily bad people, it's just that they are only getting one side of the story, and are being unduly influenced.

The answer is education. Local communities and regions need to spend more time with their legislators explaining the issues, and in particular, explaining that there is more than one way for communities to invest. Taking the infrastructure only route is pro-competition, not anti-competition. Unfortunately, few lawmakers understand that. Only by preparing talking points and having local leaders take them out to lunch, or meeting them in their offices at the state capitol, is that situation likely to change.

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