‘Level the Playing Field’ Bill Delayed – Sent to Committee

It’s being hailed by municipal broadband supporters as a major victory in the fight over whether or not Salisbury and Wilson should be allowed to start their own ISP. The ‘Level the Playing Field’ legislation, HB 1252, has been voted to go to committee for further studying – eliminating the chances of it being immediately adopted as is.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Earlier this morning, we noted that major opposition was mounting to stop the “Level the Playing Field” legislation that was before North Carolinas lawmakers. Now, word is that the legislation was sent to committee for further study.

“Glad to report good news, folks. You did it. HB 1252 is going to a study committee. That means it will be adapted, at the very least,” writes Brian, who’s been following this story since the beginning, “before it would come back for a vote. It may not come back at all. Greenlight and all NC muni broadband projects are alive and well.”

He continues, “This is good news because it stops any forward progress of the bill for a while. If it gets out of the House Select Rural Broadband Committee (I think that’s the correct name) it would have to go through at least one more study committee (Revenue) before it made it back to square one.”

He then thanked all the supporters for the cause.

Still, one should note that the battle is not over. It’s not clear where the legislation will go. Would it come back in a way that is equally supportive of the incumbent ISPs or will it simply not surface ever again as was suggested? Still, this latest development is, no doubt, a major blow to Time Warner Cable and Embarq who have been lobbying to maintain their duopoly in the area.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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