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The Google Fiber effect? Kansas Legislature writes a bill to stop muni broadband

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About 18 months after Google launched its Kansas City fiber-to-the-home effort the Kansas state legislature is introducing a bill to prevent other state municipalities to get involved in building their own broadband efforts — even in partnership with private companies. Several states have laws on the books that limit what municipalities can do to bring broadband connectivity, but as the need for better networks and partnerships like the one with Google or Gigabit U are gaining ground, it looks like incumbent providers are fighting back with politics.

7 Responses to “The Google Fiber effect? Kansas Legislature writes a bill to stop muni broadband”

  1. mark plakias

    This is ALEC in action, and there are over 50 Kansas legislators associated with ALEC including Rep. Phil Hermanson (R-96); Communications and Technology Task Force.
    From ALEC website:
    “A growing number of municipalities are answering “yes” by building their own networks and offering broadband services to their citizens. ALEC disagrees with their answer due to the negative impacts it has on free markets and limited government. In addition, such projects could erode consumer choice by making markets less attractive to competition because of the government’s expanded role as a service provider.”
    — fun fact about ALEC, in addition to highly successful lobbying against muni broadband, they also back the Stand Your Ground legislation that played out with such tragic consequences in Florida last year. Way to go AT&T!

  2. Worked here in NC, so no surprise that the Last Milers would attempt it in other states.

    Honestly, I don’t like Government getting into the utility business, but if the incumbents aren’t stepping up, then the local officials should have the power to change the conversation and this is one avenue that seems to work.

  3. This is a blatant example of corruption. There is no reason for a state to outlaw local governments operating their own networks, other than to guarantee that residents have the worst internet service in the world.

  4. WirelessCable

    Put in Gigabit+
    Watch the companies come
    Exhibit A: Chattanooga, TN

    Why did VW, Amazon, and Wacker Chemie come to Chattanooga?
    EPB Fiber! A municipal service that connects the city’s smart grid for the service region as well as serves high-quality internet to anyone who wants it at a very reasonable price.

    First level of speed- 100/100 mbps (down and upstream) Ping? What ping? You kindof forget what ping is when on fiber, press enter and the webpage is loaded.

    A note to other bureaucrats/evil ISP’s, quit killing innovation over politics!!!