Not long after I learned about HB1587, the bad NC House bill, I started a Google Group called NC Public Broadband. Its a email list with the goal of keeping people in the loop about what’s going on in the fight to protect community broadband. Its mainly an announce list but you can respond to emails. We can also upload files to share. Like a PDF of legislation or an Excel Spreadsheet of Legislative contact info.
Our ‘victory’ against HB1587 is a short lived one. Its is but one battle in a long war with “Goliath and all his cousins”. (As the Mayor Bruce Rose of Wilson, NC put it so succinctly.) I cringe at using a war analogy because of its seriousness but it is apt. Major telecommunications companies are spending a lot of money on lawyers and lobbyist to prevent the public from owning their own infrastructure. Through out the Nation they are using dishonest tactics, like making compromises in legislation then turning around and suing local governments. We can do something about this. How? By using the very resources they would take away from us. The Internet and all its tools.
I hope that this list will support the creation of a grassroots community that will monitor legislation, promote the creation of public broadband projects, and help us learn from one another.
So if you live in North Carolina and care about public access to the Internet please subscribe. (FYI – You need a Google Account) If you need help joining please contact me.