On January 19, 2017, CLIC distributed a letter to Virginia lawmakers opposing House Bill (HB) 2108. The letter was co-signed by: Atlantic Engineering, Coalition for Local Internet Choice, CTC Energy & Technology, Fiber to the Home Council, Google, Indeed, Internet Association, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, Netflix, Next Century Cities, Nokia, OnTrac, Telecommunications Industry Association, Ting Internet, and Utilities Technology Council. The letter noted that HB 2108 would essentially ban public broadband networks and public-private partnerships and harm Virginia communities, especially rural communities, and businesses that operate in the state.
“If enacted, HB 2108 would not only hurt Virginia’s localities and their residents, but it would also harm the private sector in multiple ways. Among other things, it would derail or unnecessarily complicate and delay public-private partnerships. It would interfere with the ability of private companies to make timely sales of equipment and services to public broadband providers. It would deny private companies timely access to advanced networks over which they could offer business and residential customers an endless array of modern products and services. It would also impair economic and educational opportunities that contribute to a skilled workforce from which businesses across the state will benefit.
Communities with data speeds limited to the HB 2108 target of 10/1 megabits cannot realistically hope to attract or retain modern businesses or provide their residents, particularly their young people, a reason to stay in them. These communities will be condemned to economic stagnation or worse – like the ‘ghost towns’ that died a century ago for lack of adequate electricity.“
CLIC, along with its co-signers, encourages the Virginia legislature to reject this harmful legislation.
View the full letter here: JointOppVirginiaHB2108(1-19-17)