Time Warner and Embarq Try to Ban NC Community Broadband

greenlight Kind of irks you, me, and that guy down the street, when you start reading about the latest Time Warner fiasco. Apparently, they caught wind that there’s this thing called Greenlight and could actually hurt their business of monopolistic practices and so they’re trying to get them banned in NC legislation. Pretty low, if you ask me and definitely not exactly in the best sense considering at least Time Warner is in their “consumer education process” mode.

Guess they got scared eh? I mean, the fact that anyone was actually making the comparison for what the Triad had to do to actually attempt something like Greenlight as a community based competitor would scare the pants off of me too if I was trying to make a greedy play for more cash that cannot be justified by any common sense.

So the Public Affairs Manager for the City of Wilson started a “Save NC Broadband” site and is trying to get people to pick up arms again. Let me tell ya, this is not a good thing if they stifle any sort of competition, especially community driven ones.

I can tell you a couple of the arguments that Time Warner and Embarq are saying to the legislation actually just isn’t true.

Myth: Community Broadband offer the services at cost
I suppose that Greenlight could, but they actually are not. If I’m not mistaken, it’s just another choice of a provider. Let’s not forget that they do have staff and everything else that you need to run a business as such. Now, if they do not mark it up as much as TWC or Embarq does, then that’s their business. Let us also not forget that Greenlight was only founded after the city approached these businesses and asked them to provide the services to which they refused (for faster services). If they make the play that they have no cost, I’d laugh since I’ve actually never known any city service to be sold “at cost”. And Greenlight if I remember correctly is a service provided for by the City of Wilson.

Myth: ISPs take two or three years later to deploy broadband to very rural areas
I can say this with much certainty that having lived here since 2001, and having been up to rural western North Carolina where there was the infrastructure for broadband, but “not turned on” due to it not being profitable was a serious problem for many years. I actually knew of Comcast turning on cable internet, and then turning it off and claiming it didn’t exist in that particular area, and then the same happened with Verizon DSL. It’s very much a profit play and not so much of a deployment issue. In fact, as far as your costs are concerned, the majority of any of the cost really lies within the lines themselves and not the servers and connection equipment since the backhauls are already in place for your current phone and cable television services. The addition of Internet services adds to cost, but nothing like they would like you to believe.

Currently, I really have no clue if the Triad itself is looking to even do community broadband (I know of some early talks, but I’ll let the people involved break the news when they’re ready for it). I do know that this move by Time Warner and Embarq really does prove that people can’t just idly stand aside and let them be though. This type of behavior is outrageous to try to oust those that they have even refused services to at the small likelihood that at some point they might have potential of business in the future. Interestingly enough, that type of behavior reminds one of payment plans and racketeering of the 1920s and 1930s. So write/call/email to your State representatives and let them know that we can’t have this going on. Enough really is enough.

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