Kansas

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.

Why Google picked Kansas City, Kansas

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 16:43

It was an easy decision. Kansas City is an electric city, so they own the poles. So no costly and long dragged out pole surveys, no make ready and no pole attachment fees, and the ability to take fiber anywhere in the electric service area at very low cost.

I'm sure that Kansas City also offered to hang all the fiber using their electric utility crews and buckets trucks.

No mystery here....it's a smart choice.

Great Plains communities are starting to "get it"

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 02/09/2005 - 09:00

Run, don't walk, to the nearest store and pick up a copy of USA Today. If you live in a rural community and are involved with economic and community development issues, you need to read the cover story today.

Small towns in the Great Plains are finally starting to give up "elephant hunting" and instead are using an "economic gardening" strategy. This is exactly what I have been saying in our Knowledge Economy Roadshow for the past several years.

Elephant hunting refers to traditional industrial recruitment....trying to bag a big company with lots of jobs. But small rural communities are finally starting to realize that if that is the only strategy they have, it does not work any more.

What is working? Just what I've been recommending: recruit entrepreneurs and families, not businesses. In Kansas, they are giving away free land to families that move to town, and even making cash payments to help with down payments on mortgages. They are helping the head of the household to find a job. It is still economic development, but cast in an entirely different way.

You really need to read the entire article. These communities are getting results, and are beginning to turn things around.

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