"Twisted Pair Preservation Act" in Virginia

Submitted by acohill on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 18:01

Eldo Telecom has a wry sense of humor. He has called a draft piece of legislation circulating in the statehouse in Richmond, Virginia the "Twisted Pair Preservation Act."

It's black humor at its best, because the bill would make it very difficult for local governments in Virginia to make any kind of investment in telecom infrastructure, even if the infrastructure was offered on a wholesale basis to private sector providers and even if the locality stayed out of offering retail telecom services.

To me, the interesting thing about this bill is what is not being said out loud:

The incumbents are very fond of claiming that all muni telecom projects are poorly managed, financial catastrophes waiting to happen, and a waste of money.

But if they are right, why would they waste their lobbying dollars to outlaw something that doesn't work?

This is the dog that did not bark.

The community broadband projects obviously scare the heck out of the incumbents, because *distributed ownership of infrastructure* breaks the 100 year monopoly on telecom that they have had. It's been a nice ride, but it's coming to an end.

Competitive broadband is not really about getting government involved at all. Government participation is a means to an end, it is not the end goal. The end goal is distributed ownership of telecom infrastructure, and that could be a whole variety of public and private players, including customers themselves.

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