The State House passed on second reading Thursday House Bill 129, which would further restrict local governments from offering new broadband services.
Bill sponsor Rep. Marilyn Avila maintained local community broadband networks have an unfair advantage over private industry providers. And without some protections afforded by the bill, Avila said business would view North Carolina as a “predator.”
Rep. Deborah Ross charged cable providers with trying to have it both ways. She said they don’t want to serve rural areas and small towns that aren’t profitable, but don’t want the competition either. Ross told those who would side with the private cable giants:
“That’s what’s government’s for. It’s to provide the services private industry didn’t want to provide in the first place.”
To hear the full exchange, click below. The bill will be up for its third reading in the House Monday evening.