Grant Smith, of the Citizen’s Action Coalition, has a scathing column in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on HB 1279 which lifts regulations on local telephone companies. The short version: “Telecom bill raises rates, reduces jobs.” Mr. Smith contends that, despite telecom company claims to the contrary, this bill does not do much to encourage broadband competition between telecom companies and cable companies. A couple of quotes:
Broadband was defined in the legislation to accommodate copper-wire data transfer speeds, not high-speed fiber optic cable. Why? Itâ€™s an underhanded way to base automatic rate increases on investments already made. Rate increases will occur in areas where 50â€‚percent of customers in an exchange have access to (not actually have) broadband service â€“ in other words, in urban areas.
. . .
The entire ill-gotten deal smacks of crony capitalism. Those legislators who sponsored the legislation should apologize profusely to their constituents and vow to reverse the ill-advised passage of HB 1279. Higher utility rates and fewer jobs are not a good combination for the Indiana economy.
I thought all the big telecom companies got all kinds of tax breaks to give us “fiber to the home” back in the Telecommunications Bill of 1996?
The only good news was that the House Bill didn’t do away with municipal broadband, as the Senate version had done.
Glad to hear the municipal broadband stuff didn’t pass.
Yeah, as I recall, the Telecom Act of ’96 was supposed to bring in a utopia of competition to provide local telephone services, among other things. It never really happened. I guess we just need more “deregulation.”
I’m consider myself a yellow dog, but I think this study from The Digital Policy Institute at Ball State provides a pretty compelling argument for the bill. Mr. Smith does nothing to prove anything otherwise. It just comes off as a whiny rant.Marti
Branden Robinson says
…I think this study from The Digital Policy Institute at Ball State provides a pretty compelling argument for the bill. Mr. Smith does nothing to prove anything otherwise. It just comes off as a whiny rant.
Well, let’s see…of the paper’s authors:
Robert Yadon “was most recently with the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C.” and “regularly consults with AT&T Research Labs, Verizon Avenue, SBC, McDonald’s Corporation and Eli Lilly”.
Barry Umansky “served as Deputy General Counsel with the National Association of Broadcasters (â€œNABâ€) in Washington, D.C.”.
Cecil Bohannon was a signatory to a Cato Institude policy position in support of Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. (I was unable to find a record of Cecil Bohannon as faculty, staff, or student using Ball State’s website.)
Patrick M. Barkey was a “corporate economist at American Electric Power”.
Dom Caristi doesn’t appear to have any obvious serious entanglements with Big Media, at least none that he’s willing to list on his Curriculum Vitae.
Zoran Grabovic is a grad student of Prof. Bohannon’s (huh — really odd that BSU doesn’t seem to have a page for him, then). He probably did most of the work on this paper.
David J. McClelland doesn’t have a profile at BSU either, and a web search, after filtering out a bunch of false positives involving deceased people and dentists, leaves only this paper. There appears to be a David McClelland who promulgated something called the “Socially Acquired Needs” theory, but I am not sure if this is the same person.
At any rate, when someone appeals to authority, I find it prudent to try to find out who the authorities are.