Online Press Kit
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House Bill #2108 (Byron) attempts to roll back the rights, authorities and privileges granted to local government through the Virginia Wireless Services Act of 2003, and the Friends of Municipal Broadband will not stand to see this existential threat to municipal broadband rights passed.
We look forward to discussing our opposition of this bill with you. Please contact Jennifer Eddy with questions or to arrange interviews.
Eddy Communications Corp.
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“If we expect to grow jobs and the economy, if we expect to grow those areas of the state that are right now economically depressed, we are going to have to have access to transportation and were going to have access to broadband. IT is an essential element. I don’t care if you’re doing commerce. I don’t care if you’re doing education. Increasingly in rural areas we are talking about telemedicine and actually being able to functions that would normally be done in a doctor’s office over a telescreen. All of these things are going to require broadband access if we’re going to be able to do that.”
Senator Frank Wagner
“When we build a network, we invest millions of dollars in a community. The primary investment is in the infrastructure that will direct positive impacts on the city’s economy including job growth, higher business productivity and increase number of startups and home businesses looking to the area. We also employee a lot of people, provide great jobs, rent office space and take out lots of local advertising. So, I would challenge legislators and aids here. Do you want to prevent your cities from the potential of this type of investment from an outside company? Do you want to hobble economic growth in your represented communities to stifle innovation make those communities a less appealling place to live and for business to locate? This bill props up a hand full of overpriced telco and cable monopoly companies at the expense of potential growth for every other industry and every other company that’s operating you’re your region. It’s a regressive legislation that will harm your communities and your constituents.
“In the Roanoke Valley in 2012, This was not a government initiative. This was an initiative that was started by businesses. Businesses came to us and said we can’t get service in certain areas. Our service is limited to 10 m/b. How much is 10 m/b? This is 20th century speed not 21st century speed. Yet, HB 2108 only requires that you provide 10 m/b of service and if you fall below that that’s what triggers intervention by the municipality.”
City of Roanoke
“Opportunities that Urban residents take for granted such as the ability to look at Wikipedia for a school project, the chance to learn more on WebMD about a cancer treatment being recommended by a doctor, the joy of connecting with friends and family over Facebook or even the option to work from home are closed to our citizens because they live in a rural county. For some this is a choice. For others, there is no choice. Louisa County formed a broadband authority to improve access to broadband for our entire population.”
“Rural Virginia has a lot of challenges. HB2108 effectively and with precision halts and bars rural Virginia from realizing 21st century education, healthcare and public safety…We operate telecommunications systems for our first responders. That is something that we take with a great deal of seriousness. Have done forever. We are going to use that same attention to operational systems because it has to work the first time, every time in building a telecommunications system for our first responders for our public safety.”
“It’s more of a catalyst, it’s a critical need in infrastructure for education, healthcare and economic development. But it’s also critical to attract private sector service providers to your area so you have competition and you have checks and balances in the market place.”
Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority
“The Communications Business in the Commonwealth is competitive from a price and service standpoint as long as other players can access the market, but the regulated monopoly model means the local exchange carrier has all the business and there is no incentive for someone to enter the market”
RANA Broadband Authority