“I think the rural electric associations, the municipalities, and the investor-owned utilities, are all positioned to make a real contribution in this telecommunications area, and I do think it is important that we make sure we have got the right language to accomplish what we wish to accomplish here.” – Fmr. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi)
Former Senate Majority Leader, now affiliated with DC powerhouse lobbying firm Patton Boggs, spoke those words in 1994. At the time, he particiapted in Senate hearings on S. 1822, known as the Communications Act of 1994 (Mr. Lott’s comments are at pg. 370). Clearly former Majority Leader Lott had an early grasp on how important community and municipal networks would be to the future of telecommunications.
While Mr. Lott now works to influence his former colleagues on behalf of the gigantic telcos, we want to remind him and thank him for previously taking a stand for local authority because these decisions should be made at the local level.