NC Legislature approves broadband rules for cities

By Gary D. Robertson – The General Assembly on Thursday (5/5/11) finalized rules governing North Carolina municipalities that want to offer broadband services, apparently settling a years-long fight over how and when towns and cities can build networks competing with traditional telecommunications firms.

The bill would require towns and cities that want to enter the business to hold public hearings on their plans, require them to segregate financially the business from other government operations and bar them from offering services below costs. They also couldn’t borrow money for the project without voter approval in a referendum.

Five cities that currently offer the service — Wilson, Salisbury, Morganton, Davidson and Mooresville — would be exempt from most of the bill’s provisions. more>



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