Daily Kos, January 30, 2014
The State of Kansas could often be said to be one of those places where torturing your residents just makes sense. While the work against women, children, the disabled, schools and others continues, the state of Kansas Legislatures took on a new target: Stop Google Fiber. And not just google fiber, make sure that cities cannot invest in any broadband network technologies.
Except with regard to unserved areas, a municipality may not, directly or indirectly:
(1) Offer to provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications or broadband service; or
(2) purchase, lease, construct, maintain or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications or broadband service to one or more subscribers.
Let me explain what this means. When a new provider comes into a market, they generally want some assurances; the right of way from a city, use of public right of ways, and yes, they in many cases will go for city buy ins, like tax incentives or the use of public space for property.
This is VERY true in rural communities, where without city governments investing, there is no broadband internet at all, and in Kansas City, where Google received tax and city help in laying lines and services.
Now, the state of Kansas wants to make sure that the best kind of competition is.. no competition.
The first problem is the definition of unserved. A proper definition of unserved would involve whether the identified area has access to a connection meeting the FCC’s minimum broadband definition delivered by DSL, cable, fiber-optic, fixed wireless or the like. These technologies are all capable of delivering such access.
However the bill also includes mobile wireless and, incredibly, satellite access. As we have noted on many occasions, the technical limits of satellite technology render it unfit to be called broadband, even if it can deliver a specific amount of Mbps. Satellite just does not allow the rapid two-way transmitting of information common to modern Internet applications. Mobile wireless comes with high costs, prohibitively low monthly caps, and often only works in some areas of a rural property. This is not a proper measure of having access to the Internet.
7:40 PM PT: This piece of legislation may be coming to a state near you. It’s an ALEC proposal.