Last Nail in Coffin of N. Carolina’s Anti-Muni Network Bill

O joyous day! O rapture! That insidious bill incumbents’ pocket legislator, NC state Senator Hoyle, tried to pass to kill muni broadband networks met its final demise over the weekend.

The citizens of North Carolina can breathe a sigh of relief. 34 communities pursuing Google gigabit broadband can dance the Macarena with reckless abandon. Everyone who believes in the right of communities to determine their own broadband future can take a moment to celebrate, but only a moment because the battle never ends.

Early this morning I received an e-mail from Catharine Rice of the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SEATOA) with the details on how this bill went south, way south. It ends with a shout out to the many NC legislators who refused to back down under the endless assault from incumbent lobbyists. Here it is. Take notes. You might need some of these tactics in your state one day.

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RUS in a Post-Broadband Stimulus World

Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Administrator Jonathan Adelstein and I have had a couple of opportunities to chat at events where one or both of us delivered presentations. Since we’ve had some interesting exchanges I decided to go for a formal Q & A with the one of the three central figures in the broadband stimulus program (NTIA’s Larry Strickling and the FCC’s Julius Genechowski being the other two).

My big interest is in what’s next on the agenda for RUS once they wrap up their part in the program. Many of those rural communities not fortunate enough to get a piece of the stimulus still plan to push forward for broadband in their respective areas, so it’s important for them to understand that RUS’ role doesn’t end September 30.

Administrator Adelstein’s comments are followed by my short assessment. This adds a coda to my recent analysis of RUS’s first group of Round 2 stimulus grants.

As a bonus to my loyal readers, I tossed in at the end here an interesting tidbit for some of you sports fans. The actual first time Administrator Adelstein and I shared a public venue was almost three decades ago and totally unrelated to technology.

Check back tomorrow for a re-cap of my recent meeting at the FCC. If I’m not careful, D.C. is going to become a second home.

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