Consumerist wrote:Time Warner Cable Cannot Possibly Compete With The Small City Of Wilson, NC
The city of Wilson, NC was tired of high internet, cable, and telephone prices, so they decided to do something about it. They started their own, city-owned, ISP. Now Time Warner Cable and Embarq have teamed up to convince North Carolina's legislature to propose bills outlawing community owned ISPs because the big guys cannot possibly compete.
We can see why they are worried. Wilson's ISP sounds great. It's an all fiber optic network that has 81 basic cable channels, 10 Mbps (download and upload), and a digital phone plan with unlimited long distance to the U.S. and Canada, all for $99.95, says Daily Tech. A comparable TWC package would cost $137.95, for an introductory rate.
Now Wilson's ISP, which calls itself "Greenlight" has started a blog to protest the legislation. Here's an excerpt:My name is Brian Bowman. I'm the Public Affairs Manager for the City of Wilson, NC, and I'll bet my broadband is faster than yours.
I have a 10Mbps up/down connection at my house. Can't get half that from the cable company. I buy it directly from the City of Wilson. After less than a year of residential service, almost 3,000 Wilson citizens are subscribing to Wilson's fiber optic network. Local businesses can get up to one Gbps. Local homes get up to 100 Mbps. We call it Greenlight.
NC Senate Bill 1004 and House Bill 1252 would change the law to stop cities from providing broadband. The bills say they "Level the Playing Field" but they are designed to protect cable monopolies in our state. The cable company told me Wilson would be exempt, but it's still wrong for NC.
I actually have mixed emotions on this one. On one hand, I'd like to believe that the government of this city did this without actually utilizing any of their governmental powers to keep cost down. If that's the case, and they're running a true business, then I say good for them. I just have strong reservations about any scenario where a government entity has reason to step in and control a business that's competing with businesses that lack governmental authority.
Of course, I'm also disgusted by Time Warner here, trying to stifle competition via legislation.