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Right of Way - By the People, For the People Of the People?

  • Broadcast in Internet



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Are ROW issues crippling broadband? We, the people, own over 4 million miles of right of way (ROW) - every street in America plus 10 feet on each side. ROWs exist so essential services such as roads, utilities - and telecom services are used by and available to everyone. But is this true when it comes to broadband?

According to today's guest, Rita Stull, "the telecom industry spends tens of millions of dollars annually lobbying to retain free use of rights-of-way land. And the cable industry has spent 30 years lobbying federal and state legislatures to void franchises and eliminate as many payments for using community-owned ROW as possible.

Stull explains why addressing these ROW issues are key to the future of community broadband. Listeners learn why every effort to acquire better broadband must start with an analysis of who "owns" vs controls the local ROW. They also get tips for monitoring activities in the state legislature than can impact ROW. 

Ms. Stull designs telecom plans for local governments, and has 29 years of public sector experience including integrating telecom within municipal operating and economic development departments.