Committee: No to Publicly Funded Government Internet
The Connecticut legislature’s Planning and Development Committee rejected a proposal (SB 331) that called for $5 million in state seed money to fund a government-run loan program available to municipalities interested in constructing their own Internet infrastructure networks.
Municipalities would then charge Internet subscribers a fee for use of the network in order to pay back the loan.
The bill failed on a 9-11 committee vote, with two legislators abstaining or absent.
There were many problems with the proposal, including:
- A lack of recognition that constructing and maintaining that kind of network would require tens of millions of dollars–much of which likely would have to be borne by taxpayers
- A lack of technical and engineering expertise at the municipal level to keep the systems running, and upgraded enough to integrate with private-sector-operated high-speed Internet, where investment and innovation are constant
- A misunderstanding that private-sector high-speed Internet is already available to Connecticut municipalities from nationally recognized high-speed Internet service providers
CBIA appreciates those on the committee who voted to reject the proposal.
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