Showdown and slowdown in Kansas over muni broadband

Submitted by acohill on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:22

An old friend of mine once remarked, "In Texas, we have the best laws money can buy." Apparently, folks in Kansas can make the same statement, as a blatantly anti-muni broadband bill was introduced in the legislature last week. The bill was so stringent that it would have made the Kansas City/Google deal impossible, which is a good example of a public/private partnership that brings a lot of benefit to the residents and businesses of the city.

But the Internet exploded, and the bill has been tabled for the time being." You do have to give Kansas Senator Julia Lynn some credit for honesty, as she remarked, ""I visited with industry representatives, and they have agreed to spend some time gathering input before we move forward with a public hearing," she said."

At least she is not shy about admitting that the incumbents are telling her what to do, rather than the citizens that she supposedly represents.

These kinds of bills are going to continue to pop up, because the incumbents have been successful in states like North Carolina, where a slightly less stringent bill was passed about three years ago.

I remain an optimist in spite of these attacks on communities, because there are ways to get Gigabit networks into communities even if the state legislature has made it difficult to do so. Over at WideOpen Networks, we're already well on the way to solving this problem for good.

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