Accusations of special treatment for Time Warner Cable found their way into floor debate at the North Carolina General Assembly and it was no surprise to ILSR staff.
Republican legislator and former Committee Chair Robert Brawley shared a revealing letter he wrote to Speaker Thom Tillis questioning his relationship with Time Warner Cable. ILSR covered Time Warner Cable’s victory in North Carolina in our case study The Empire Lobbies Back: How Big Cable Killed Competition in North Carolina. Our study analyzes the influence wielded by Time Warner Cable at the State Legislature as it moved to block local communities from investing in their own broadband infrastructure. Wilson’s incredibly successful Greenlight drove Time Warner Cable to lobby hard to stop any future local networks.
Brawley introduced a bill this past session that would allow MI-Connection, a municipal network in North Carolina, the ability to expand. State barriers created by Time Warner Cable legislation make expansion almost impossible for the few networks that existed before the state adopted the new laws.
Tillis’ campaign received $37,000 from the telecom industry, even though he ran unopposed. Brawley recounted a Tillis temper tantrum in which he described his “business relationship” with Time Warner Cable and told Brawley his bill would not proceed. After this and several other questionable ethics decisions by Tillis, Brawley resigned his gavel as Chair of the Finance Committee. You can read the full article on MuniNetworks.org.
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