Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yes, Time Warner IS Trying to Ban Community Networks

When I blogged about the truly inspiring Institute for Local Self-Reliance a few days ago and its Community Broadband Map, I suggested that big telcos were trying to put a stop to people creating their own networks in the places that the big telcos refuse to serve.

Some people found that hard to believe (some of them young people who still seem to think American corporations are all about free markets and level playing fields). So here is a dose of reality people, as reported by the terrific website that is the source of the sadly "too-true" cartoon you see here. The site is Stop the Cap:
Time Warner Cable’s custom-written bill banning community-owned broadband networks in North Carolina this afternoon received a favorable vote in the Public Utilities Committee... Read the full report here.
Yes, you read that correctly. Time Warner Cable is trying to get a law passed to outlaw community-owned networks. This is the same company that told me, in writing, to take a hike when I ordered commercial-grade cable service from them. (Okay, they did not use those exact words, they just told me it would cost more than $100,000 to connect me, even though I am less than 5 miles from their nearest connection point and there are dozens of other willing customers between that point and me.)

So all of you out there enjoying Time Warner Cable Internet and Verizon FiOS just remember, your broadband provider is actively seeking to stop rural communities from helping themselves while simultaneously denying those communities the kind of broadband you enjoy.

And think of my neighbors, paying 5X what you pay for broadband and getting 1/20 of the service you get. Now think about this: If those companies can get away with treating those communities so badly, how long will it take them to start behaving equally badly toward you?

1 comment:

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