Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bill Slightly Tempers the Ability of Cities to Be Socialist

News & Observer:
The bill would require towns and cities that want to enter the [broadband] business to hold public hearings on their plans, segregate financially the business from other government operations and bar them from offering services below cost. They also couldn't borrow money for the project without voter approval in a referendum and must make payments equal to their tax bills as if they owned a private provider.

Five cities that offer the service - Wilson, Salisbury, Morganton, Davidson and Mooresville - would be exempt from most of the bill's provisions, although their coverage areas would be limited. The five had a combined $148 million in debt not approved by voters used to build their fiber-optic networks that currently serve about 43,000 households (JF: That's a cost of over $3400/household), according to a financial analysis of the bill by legislative staff members.

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