South Carolina

Law changes rules for rural broadband service (The Times and Democrat) July 18, 2012

While some portions of Orangeburg County will receive broadband access, a new state law could make additional expansion problematic and costly.

The new law requires government-owned telecommunications service providers to meet the same local, state and federal regulations as private providers, with some exceptions.

ALEC and AT&T v. municipal broadband (KnoxViews) July 2, 2012

AT&T teamed up with ALEC to pass a law in South Carolina making it virtually impossible for local governments to provide broadband internet service. Read about it here, and be sure to see the featured comment at the end.

South Carolina passes bill restricting municipal broadband (The Verge) June 30, 2012

South Carolina has become the latest state to rule against allowing towns to set up their own broadband networks. A bill passed last week makes it much more difficult to set up a local, city-owned ISP that provides service of 190Kbps or greater. Critics say the bill, which is now awaiting signature by the governor, is an effort by carriers like AT&T to lock out competition. In North Carolina, for example, Time Warner Cable launched a year-long legal battle to shut down a municipal network that offered faster speeds than its own Road Runner service. Some have also alleged that the bill was written and lobbied for by ALEC, a conservative think tank of which AT&T is a board member.

Telcos succeed at killing off muni broadband in South Carolina (CivSource) June 29, 2012

Following a playbook that first succeeded in neighboring North Carolina, telecom lobbyists led by AT&T have been successful in passing a bill in the South Carolina legislature that makes it nearly impossible for cities to build their own broadband networks. The bill passed on Wednesday and is expected to be signed by the Governor.

South Carolina passes bill against municipal broadband (Ars Technica) June 29, 2012

South Carolina has become the latest state in the union to pass a state-level bill that effectively makes it difficult, if not impossible, for municipalities to create their own publicly owned Internet service provider that could compete with private corporations. The bill passed the South Carolina General Assembly and Senate on Wednesday and awaits the signature of the state’s governor.

South Carolina erects new barrier to community broadband – another big political win for AT&T (Broadband DSL Reports) June 29, 2012

South Carolina has effectively passed H. 3508, a bill backed by regional incumbent AT&T (see our previous report), intended to make it more difficult for towns and cities to wire themselves for broadband — even when nobody else will. The move comes on the heels of a similar effort in North Carolina last year, where regional incumbents Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink passed a similar bill after four previous failed attempts.

AT&T working to kill South Carolina community broadband (Broadband DSL Reports) June 7, 2012

…Anti-municipal broadband bills are protectionist nonsense crafted by predatory bullies and passed by corrupt political halfwits. It doesn’t matter whether you like the idea of community broadband, and indeed there’s often much to dislike in implementation — but regardless of your beliefs — local infrastructure decisions should be up to the local community, not a disinterested corporate giant half a world away (especially one that has already failed that community on the connectivity front). Those who support these bills support protectionist rules and government erosion of rights while professing to loathe regulation. They also support the very broken government-for-hire corruption they claim to protest.

Why are telecom companies blocking rural America from getting high-speed Internet (The New Republic) April 17, 2012

Located halfway between the state capital of Columbia and the port city of Charleston, Orangeburg County, South Carolina is among the more geographically blessed areas of the country. It’s also one of its poorest. Over a quarter of its population lives below the poverty line, with a per capita income of $17,579. And this is poverty of a particularly stubborn sort. At least twenty percent of Orangeburg’s population has toiled in poverty over the past thirty years, entrenching it on the USDA’s list of counties mired in “persistent poverty.”

Voters say no to government-owned broadband networks (Coalition for the New Economy) January 13, 2012

A poll announced today by the Alliance for South Carolina’s Future concluded that South Carolinians don’t want local governments competing with private business. The poll of 500 South Carolina voters showed that 77% oppose the idea of local governments using tax dollars to compete against the private sector. Only 8% favor it. The others were undecided.

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