Utah State House Bill 60 will cripple one of the biggest multi-jurisdiction, public-owned networks in the U.S. Rather than directly attack UTOPIA communities' freedom to buy or build their best broadband solutions, HB60 flat out prohibits businesses from buying services from UTOPIA. In case there was any doubt of the bill's beneficiary, hot on the heels of HB60 was CenturyLink's announcement that they now will offer gigabit services to those same companies.
Utah community broadband advocate and FreeUTOPIA Senior Editor Jesse Harris discusses how HB60 makes no pretense of creating a level playing field and is really an anti-competition campaign. He also advises how broadband supporters can fight back effectively against incumbents' lobbying might at the state level in Utah and elsewhere.
Harris shares his observations of legislative procedures and broadband politics, including the sleight of hand that removed the bill from Death's doorstep in the committee, only to raise it from the dead with only 24 hours notice of a public hearing. Businesses and free market advocates need to pay attention to the threat HB60 poses to both.