Thursday, June 09, 2005

New Federal Bill Against Municipal Broadband

Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) has decided municipally-sponsored broadband networks aren't innovative enough, so he's sponsoring a bill to block all municipalities from establishing any broadband networks. (Stories here and here.) Sessions' bill is titled "Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act (H.R. 2726)". Apparently, Sessions feels local municipalities shouldn't have the ability to spend taxpayer monies on such infrastructure, leaving this line of business only for private industry to monopolize without competition from the government. This is one area where Dayton is actually on the leading edge of a neat trend. Dayton's got an ever-increasing Wi-Fi hotspot and it's a neat resource. (Uh, I've never used it, but it's still a cool concept.) Sessions said his goal was to "discourage municipal governments from wasting taxpayer funds". It's not like the Feds waste any money. My Republican party has moved from the party of small government to the party of can't-be-big-enough government. God forbid local municipalities and their citizens figure out for themselves if tax dollars should be so spent. Why the hell should the Feds stifle this? Gee, maybe it's because Sessions spent 16 years at Bell Labs, then followed on as a district marketing manager for Southwest Bell in Dallas. Think the telecom industry isn't worried about such competition? We're not far off from the turn of the 20th century where the rail barons came to Washington, DC, literally carrying steamer trunks stuffed full of cash to give to our elected officials. Via Instapundit

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