To Broadband, or Not To Broadband….

When President Barack Obama spoke about his plan to maintain Net Neutrality on Wednesday, he noted Wilson, NC, as an example of great broadband operation… Wilson set up a town-operated broadband wifi system accessible to all residents. Wilson calls its system Greenlight. It provides a fiber network to each subscriber, and offers video, high speed internet, and phone (local service). Issues are resolved locally, not through a long-distance, hard to reach unidentified person. Wilson is North Carolina's Gigabit City.

In a White House-prepared fact sheet Tuesday, Wilson is called out for its "inspired leadership and community mobilization:"

"Wilson has been transformed from 'the World's Greatest Tobacco Market' to 'North Carolina's First Gigabit City,'" the call out reads.

Other cities recognized in addition to Cedar Falls include Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Kansas City, Missouri.

According to the fact sheet, the Obama Administration plans to call for an end to laws "that harm Broadband Service Competition," announce new grants and loans available to rural providers, as well as a new initiative to support community broadband projects.

It is to be hoped that the laws that harm Broadband Service Competition in North Carolina can be repealed to allow any municipality that wishes to provide this service to their citizens to do so. Aren't we all about Local Control these days? Especially those communities in rural areas that Time Warner has already announced they will not even try to service--too small a return on investment for a big company like Time Warner. It's just not worth their while. Even though the rural areas of North Carolina would benefit from access to broadband, even though having broadband in place could draw jobs to these rural communities, our laws do not permit anyone but corporations from going into business there.

North Carolina has SEVEN of the worst 10 places to get broadband in the US. And these are the places in North Carolina that actually have broadband! Imagine how bad it is in the rural areas. Stunning to see the North Carolina Legislators conspiring to limit the ability of communities to invest in themselves when the private sector has no interest in next-generation networks, choosing instead to reap profits off of systems that barely meet the FCC's definition of broadband.

With such terribly uncompetitive services, of course Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink have run to the Legislature to ban the community networks that have stepped in to prevent lazy incumbents from killing the future of entire communities in the digital age. As we have been detailing... the public is overwhelmingly opposed to Raleigh telling communities they cannot build the networks TWC and CenturyLink will not.

Check Here
http://www.muninetworks.org/sites/www.muninetworks.org/files/nc-bbchart.png
to see the seven NC communities on the list of the Worst Places to get Broadband IN THE UNITED STATES.

I would not suggest that access to broadband wifi is the only thing necessary for our rural areas to prosper, but I would suggest that without it, they cannot. Too bad Wilson's 'Inspired Leadership' isn't a part of our NCGA.

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Haywood County

We live about 1-1/2 miles from Lake Junaluska, in an area of Haywood County the locals call bowlegged valley, between the lake and I-40. Charter Communication provides cable TV/internet service to a nursing home that is about 1,000 feet as the crow flies from my house. Carolina Mountain Cablevision serves customers in the Ironduff, Crabtree, and Fines Creek areas north of I-40, which is about 1-1/2 miles from our house. We live in a broadband dead zone, so we use satellite internet, which is very expensive.

Our county commissioners are conducting a broadband survey in our county, hopefully to result in better broadband coverage in our county of 50,000 residents.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Send a copy of your satellite

Send a copy of your satellite bill to your NCGA reps and tell them this is what internet costs me because Charter won't provide service to my area.

Unfortunately, this is a little dated:

Aren't we all about Local Control these days?

Since the GOP took over the General Assembly, the erosion of local government power has been almost continuous. All it takes is one corporate lobbyist or one regional GOP legislator who have axes to grind, and some new restrictive law gets passed.

The irony is overwhelming...

Exactly

As my friends who live in the Town of Waynesville and at Lake Junaluska can attest to, with only Michelle Presnell standing in the way of the friendly annexation of Lake Junaluska Assembly into the town.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR