UPDATE: Urgent action needed

Sorry to hit and run, but I'm late for a meeting and just saw this post at Ed Cone's blog about a power play in progress on the broadband front. Check it out and suggest courses of action. Pretty please?


Here is a sample e-mail message to send to all of the Committee members involved:

Subject: Don’t You Dare Vote for an Anti-Municipal Broadband Bill!

Message: As a consumer, I was disturbed to hear the Revenue Laws Study Committee was prepared to vote for an industry-sponsored Anti-Municipal Broadband Bill on April 21st. Please do not vote for this or any other bill that removes competitive choice for broadband service. Our local communities should not be stopped from deploying 21st century fiber to the home systems other providers refuse to deliver. Such fiber networks create jobs, keep North Carolina business competitive, and stimulate economic development, which will deliver needed tax revenue.

The same providers backing this bill that are not delivering service to unserved communities, or offer inadequate service in others, have had a decade to deliver the service municipal providers are actually providing today in our state. Instead of delivering, they’ve offered a litany of excuses and now want special legislative protections to preserve their entrenched market position.

As a consumer, I am fed up with relentless rate increases year after year. In communities like Wilson, where a municipal provider delivers excellent service, the rate increases from cable and phone companies have stopped. A vote for this bill guarantees we’ll be paying higher and higher cable and phone bills indefinitely, and that’s something I would definitely remember come Election Day. Make no mistake — this proposed legislation is an obvious gift to the telecommunications industry at the expense of all of your constituents, including myself. That’s why I am confident you will stand up and make your opposition heard to this and similar measures.

At a time when the FCC’s National Broadband Plan envisions 100 million households with ultra-fast broadband service delivering economic benefits, it’s ironic our state legislature is even considering impeding the very providers that are on track to fulfill that goal.

With 11.2 percent unemployment — the 10th worst in the country, now is not the time to put a moratorium on North Carolina’s communities considering a better future through municipally-provided broadband.

With all this in mind, I am confident you will deliver for constituents like myself and oppose these industry-backed bills. I look forward to hearing from you soon on this issue.

For best results, use your own wording and talk about the broadband market in your community. You can reference the excitement over Google’s fiber to the home project.

Here are the Committee members to write or call, including their district area and what they do for a living:

(Please send individual messages to members, even if the contents are essentially the same — avoid simply CC’ing a single message to every representative.)

* Sen. Daniel Gray Clodfelter (Co-Chair) Mecklenberg Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net (919) 715-8331 Democrat (704) 331-1041 Attorney
* Sen. Daniel T. Blue, Jr. Wake Dan.Blue@ncleg.net (919) 733-5752 Democrat (919) 833-1931 Attorney
* Sen. Peter Samuel Brunstetter Forsyth Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net (919) 733-7850 Republican (336) 747-6604 Attorney
* Sen. Fletcher Lee Hartsell, Jr. Cabarrus, Iredell Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net (919) 733-7223 Republican (704) 786-5161 Attorney
* Sen. David W. Hoyle Gaston David.Hoyle@ncleg.net (919) 733-5734 Democrat (704) 867-0822 Real Estate Developer/Investor
* Sen. Samuel Clark Jenkins Edgecomb, Martin, Pitt Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net (919) 715-3040 Democrat (252) 823-7029 W.S. Clark Farms
* Sen. Josh Stein Wake Josh.Stein@ncleg.net (919)715-6400 Democrat (919)715-6400 Lawyer
* Sen. Jerry W. Tillman Montgomery, Randolph Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net (919) 733-5870 Republican (336) 431-5325 Ret’d school teacher
* Rep. Paul Luebke (Co-Chair) Durham Paul.Luebke@ncleg.net 919-733-7663 Democrat 919-286-0269 College Teacher
* Rep. Harold J. Brubaker Randolph Harold.Brubaker@ncleg.net 919-715-4946 Republican 336-629-5128 Real Estate Appraiser
* Rep. Becky Carney Mecklenberg Becky.Carney@ncleg.net 919-733-5827 Democrat 919-733-5827 Homemaker
* Rep. Pryor Allan Gibson, III Anson, Union Pryor.Gibson@ncleg.net 919-715-3007 Democrat 704-694-5957 Builder/TWC contractor
* Rep. Dewey Lewis Hill Brunswick, Columbus Dewey.Hill@ncleg.net 919-733-5830 Democrat 910-642-6044 Business Exec (Navy)
* Rep. Julia Craven Howard Davie, Iredell Julia.Howard@ncleg.net 919-733-5904 Republican 336-751-3538 Appraiser, Realtor
* Rep. Daniel Francis McComas New Hanover Danny.McComas@ncleg.net 919-733-5786 Republican 910-343-8372 Business Executive
* Rep. William C. McGee Forsyth William.McGee@ncleg.net 919-733-5747 Republican 336-766-4481 Retired (Army)
* Rep. William L. Wainwright Craven, Lenoir William.Wainwright@ncleg.net 919-733-5995 Democrat 252-447-7379 Presiding Elder
* Rep. Jennifer Weiss Wake Jennifer.Weiss@ncleg.net 919-715-3010 Democrat 919-715-3010 Lawyer-Mom


ACTION! The commercial broadband, anti-net neutrality forces..

are trying to re-introduce legislation that will continue their tradition of offering the least service for the most money. Read about it HERE The meat of the article is about 2/3 down the page...but it's all a good read.

This legislation will be studied by the "Revenue Laws" committee and the best way to stop it might be to give the members a call. Committee Co-Chair Senator Clodfelter (Mecklenburg) appears to be the waterboy for the cable industry folks. Suggest we give him a call and our own reps who may be on the committee.

The members of this committee and their phone numbers are HERE

Take action now, please!

Stan Bozarth

Email comment

It appears the NC Senate committee handling telecom is going to take up their bill to block cities and towns from building their own internet infrastructure. This is a Time Warner wet dream. Bill comes up tomorrow.

Even better, show up at the meeting if you can...

From an email I got this morning from a member of Bring Google to Raleigh, Communities United for Broadband, and Broadband for Everyone:

We need folks to be at this meeting to show that broadband Internet is important to our state. That broadband is too important to our economy to cede to the whims of monopolies. Like the public roads that nurture brick-and-mortar businesses, municipal broadband Internet can be the lifeblood of local economies.

If you'd like to take part, the meeting will take place in the N.C. Legislative Office Building, room 544 on Wednesday, April 21st at 9:30 AM. Come early to get a seat and bring a friend if you'd like. You don't have to speak: just you're being there will make the case.

Directions to N.C. Legislative Office Building

Two of us at DailyKos posted diaries on this also. I live in central Raleigh so I'm going to make a big effort to be there (and maybe getting a couple of neighbors to come along), being that I work from home I can do this... to everyone that can join me, pleeeeeeese do, after calling and sending email to the list in James' post. If you can't be there, call, send email, fax...

-- another not-so-newbie North Carolinian ;-)


Good stuff ... thanks for getting us activated.