Winston-Salem, Business, News, Events, Greensboro, Technology, IT Services

On the heels of Time Warner’s proposed Tiered Access rates it appears they and other Internet Providers in the state of North Carolina are trying to legally protect their monopolies for all time. Again this year the North Carolina General Assembly has put forth Bills which would make it nearly impossible for any local government to provide Internet or Communication Services.

Now you may wonder why this has even come up and the most likely reason is because of a little town called Wilson, some of you may know it. Wilson recently rolled out Internet Service that is not only faster than that provided by the likes of Time Warner but at a much lower rate as well. As posted on engadget the clear winner in pure speed is Wilson’s Greenlight 100Mbps however even the lowest tiered option of 10Mbps is over $20 cheaper than Tiime Warner (BTW who gets TW Turbo for $57?).

The proposed bills have multiple conditions and controls which would all but cripple the chance of another municipality to do what Wilson has done but the one thing I keyed in on was the requirement for open books and reporting. Now sure this is a good thing but hey let’s have Time Warner open their books and provide us with the true cost of providing Internet Access.

Shall prepare and publish an independent annual audit in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles that reflect the fully allocated cost of providing the communications service, including all direct and indirect costs. The indirect costs shall include amounts for rights‑of‑way, franchise, consent, or administrative fees, regulatory fees, occupation taxes, pole attachment fees, and ad valorem taxes. The annual accounting shall reflect any direct or indirect subsidies received by the city owned communications service provider, and any buildings, equipment, vehicles, and personnel that are jointly used with other city departments shall be fully allocated to the city owned communications service. The North Carolina Utilities Commission may adopt rules and regulations to ensure compliance with the provisions of this subdivision, and all records demonstrating compliance shall be filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission and made available for public inspection and copying.

Senate Bill 1004 (= H1252) , House Bill 1252 (= S1004)

The sponsors of these Bills come from both sides of the so called aisle however they do have some things in common, 2008 campaign donations from the Telecoms*:

  • David W. Hoyle; Time Warner PAC – $2,250, NC Cable PAC – $1,500, Spring/Nextal PAC – $3,000, ATT PAC – $4,000
  • Debbie A. Clary; Embarq Employees PAC – $1,500,
  • Ty Harrell; Time Warner PAC – $500, ATT PAC – $500, Embarq Employees PAC – $250,
  • Tillis;, Time Warner PAC – $1250, Embarq Employees PAC – $500, ATT PAC – $1000

Now the above list is just a sample of the sponsors and co-sponsors however I think we should all take notice when our elected officials take PAC money then submit bills which clearly benefit the businesses behind those PAC’s. This isn’t new news of course but something which gets so little coverage especially when it comes to more local government officials.

* The above information was taken from the reporting provided by the NC Campaign Report Search and may be incomplete or incorrect as finding the information is certainly not a point and click effort.


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One Response to “Cable And Phone Companies Attempt To Create Legally Protected Monopolies”
  1. JamesB says:

    As a follow up on this I wanted to highlight who Time Warner has been donating to:

    DAVID HOYLE FOR SENATE $4250 (Per Time Warner’s filing vs. the $2250 I found above)
    Elect Pat McCrory Governor $4000
    The Bev Perdue Committee $5250
    Committee to Elect Hugh Holliman $2000
    Committee to Elect Linda Garrou $1500
    Committee to Elect Paul Stam $2000
    Committee to Re-Elect Senator Tony Rand $3250
    Friends of Perdue $3250
    Marc Basnight Campaign $4000

    This is just a small list as it appears Time Warner has been VERY busy over the past year. Find your own information here as to which of YOUR represenatives they were giving money to:

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