Maryland incumbents defeat broadband information bill

Art Brodsky sounds off on Verizon and Comcast lobbyists’ successful defeat of a Maryland bill that would have offered consumers access to information and boosted broadband competition in the state.Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge, a public interest group that advocates an open Internet, recently tackled the subject of incumbent interference in a Maryland bill to promote broadband competition by simply making available data on where high-speed Internet access is offered.

House Bill 1069 would have required companies offering high-speed broadband to report the information to the Public Service Commission which, in turn, would have made the information available to consumers online. Brodsky notes “The Attorney General’s office thought the reporting was a good idea, saying ‚Äö?Ѭ? “the public availability of such information could arguably advance competition.’ ”

But who wants competition? Evidently not incumbents like Verizon and Comcast which, ironically, use the “anti-competitive” charge against municipalities whenever local governments attempt to open local networks to advance competition. Here was a case where no “unfair government competition” was involved.

In Maryland’s legislative t?‚Ñ¢te-?‚Ć-t?‚Ñ¢te, Verizon and Comcast managed to tap-dance around the idea of competition by focusing on net defeat a measure that would have allowed consumer to see the options available to them and competitors to identify under-served markets with the possible outcome of attracting those competitors to the state.

Brodsky offers good thoughts on the impact all this could have on Maryland’s economic future.

to read his column.


  1. We still have good competition in the UK – very good infact, I wonder for how long.