State Legislators Becoming Weapons of Mass Obstruction Against Broadband Competition?

An ALEC-inspired, lobbyist-written anti-municipal broadband bill introduced in the Kansas state legislature – Senate Bill 304 – is threatening all broadband in the state, even from private-sector challengers to existing incumbents. Dropping in seemingly from nowhere on January 27, the bill was tracked for swift near-silent passage.

Battle flag

Save for the swift, fierce counterattack by Kansas communities across the state, the bill likely would have passed and then been trafficked to other states. Yet even before Kansans could catch a breath after winning their first skirmish (this bill ain’t dead yet!), here comes an anti-muni broadband attack that the state legislature dropped on Utah yesterday. The lesson for the rest of the U.S. is that 1) more attacks are coming from state legies frontin’ for lobbyists,  and 2) Kansas is an inspiration and model-in-progress for how communities can beat down some of these attacks. Among other tactics, a statewide petition is demanding Kansas legies “put voters before lobbyists!” 

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