Broadband socialist dreams

This is the ‘net neutrality’ propaganda, again. The dream is to have free I’net access with unlimited bandwidth everywhere and anywhere. Since private businesses are not able to do this, some think it is time for the government to step in. That is what is behind a North Carolina legislative effort. Ars Technica is usually on the socialist side of this fence but they let an industry shill in with heavy warnings that his views weren’t necessarily theirs. Setting the record straight on the North Carolina level playing field bill is by Marcus Trathen, NC Cable & Telecommunications Assn.

First, the bill’s not just about broadband. It’s about government competing in a variety of businesses—cable TV, telephone, Internet access—anything that can be offered by a business over a wire.

Second, and more importantly, North Carolina’s bill does not “prohibit” cities from competing against private providers—it only sets ground rules if they do. This is necessary because there are no rules currently. This means that cities have been free to discriminate against private business, they have been free to cross-subsidize competition with monopoly utility revenues, they have been free to incur debt without taxpayer approval, and they have been free to subsidize their competition through tax exemptions not available to private industry.

The story Trathen describes is nothing new. The examples he provides have many analogies in other attempts to have ‘government do it’ rather than private business. You’d think that with local governments budget’s being busted by payrolls needed to provide a surfeit of services that yet another effort to expand government services would be subject to just a bit more consideration about its impacts and realities. Some never learn, or so it seems.

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