How do I know that city-owned municipal broadband would be great for Seattle? Because those right-wing corporate shills at ALEC—the folks behind such legislative gems as Stand Your Ground, Voter ID, and Right to Work—oppose it. Case closed.
And in case you think ALEC's model legislation prohibiting municipal broadband is just fanciful posturing:
With Senate Bill No. 304 [pdf], the Kansas Legislature will consider a bill to revoke local authority to build networks. If passed, this bill would create some of the most draconian limits on building networks we have seen in any state.
The language in this bill prohibits not only networks that directly offer services but even public-private partnerships and open access approaches. This is the kind of language one would expect to see if the goal is to protect politically powerful cable and telephone company monopolies rather than just limiting local authority to deliver services.
Washington State law does actually prohibit public utility districts from delivering retail broadband service. But Seattle City Light is not a public utility district (it's a municipally owned utility), so it is not subject to these restrictions. So far, Comcast, Centurylink and their surrogates have remained silent on the topic here, because they don't sense it is likely to happen. But should municipal broadband efforts gain traction, expect an effort to block it Olympia.
[via Daily Kos]