North Carolina anti-muni broadband bill pending

North Carolina is faced with a bill that, if passed, will make it nearly impossible for public entities to create broadband networks. The state urgently needs your help in keeping this bill from being passed. The proposed North Carolina bill, HB 1587, would impose burdensome, time-consuming, costly, and discriminatory referendum and substantive requirements that would make it virtually impossible for public entities to develop broadband networks. Click here for previous Muniwireless post.

For example, at a time when America is rapidly losing ground to the leading Asian and European nations in developing high-capacity next-generation networks, HB 1587 would essentially kill public fiber projects by requiring them to be cash-flow positive in four years ‚Äö?Ñ?¨ a requirement that the private sector cannot come close to meeting in large-scale projects.

Timetable

The NC House Public Utility Committee meets to vote on HB 1587 on Wednesday, 10:00 AM, Room 1228 in the Legislature’s Building. If the bill passes, it goes to the Finance Committee. If it passes out of Finance, it must go to the full House. If it passes in the House, it goes to the Senate, to committee(s) to be designated, and then it goes to the full Senate. If the Senate passes a bill that differs from the House version, the Senate bill goes back to the House for ratification of any changes to the House version.

The legislature would like to conclude its work this year by July 4, so the pace of developments is likely to be feverish during the next month.

Support Requested

Voice your opposition to the bill through letters, emails, telephone calls, and visits to all members of the key committees and houses of the North Carolina legislature. Support from businesses with substantial operations in North Carolina would be particularly valuable.