This is reprehensible.
Legislation introduced in the Kansas state legislature by a lobby for cable companies would make it almost impossible for cities and towns to offer broadband services to residents and would perhaps even outlaw public-private partnerships like the one that brought Google Fiber to Kansas City.
The Senate bill doesn’t list any lawmaker as its sponsor, and there’s a reason—a Senate employee told us it was submitted by John Federico on behalf of the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association, of which he is president.
That’s a lobby group with members such as Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, and Time Warner Cable. The bill was introduced this week, referred to the Committee on Commerce, and scheduled for discussion for Tuesday of next week.
I get the logic, but I hate the intent. Here’s the heart of the bill:
Except with regard to unserved areas, a municipality may not, directly or indirectly: (1) Offer or provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications, or broadband service; or (2) purchase, lease, construct, maintain, or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications, or broadband service to one or more subscribers.