Imagine there was no Google Fiber in Kansas City! The Kansas state legislature is poised to not only prohibit municipalities from owning broadband networks, it will prevent even private companies and nonprofits from delivering faster, better Internet access (sign this petition to kill the bill). This bill effectively can block Google or any other competitor to existing incumbents from serving most of the state.
Chanute, KS City Finance Director Rebecca Wood joins us to describe a development that threatens other states as well. AT&T and Cable ONE wouldn't deliver the broadband Chanute needed, so the city built its own. But an ALEC-inspired draconian bill introduced this week threatens to destroy communities' home rule, and the ability to invest in their own citizens.
Wood discusses how this bill will kill Kansas towns' hopes to replicate Chanute's successes in economic development, advanced healthcare, education and government service delivery. Given how ALEC operates, it is likely that this bill's passing would lead to similar legislation in other states. Listeners get valuable advice on how they can join with Chanute and various organizations in the state to kill Bill 304.