Friday, February 25, 2005
Ind. Law - Indiana Bill to Limit Local Govt. Wireless Died in Committee
"Indiana Bill to Limit Local Govt. Wireless Died in Committee" is the heading to a story today in Government Technology. Some quotes:
A bill that would impede the development of Indiana's technical infrastructure by effectively prohibiting municipalities from providing broadband Internet service died in the House Local Government committee last week.
The state's municipal officials strongly opposed the bill because it would have hindered economic development. * * *
HB 1148 would have prohibited a city or town from controlling, owning, or operating facilities for providing cable, telecommunications, and information services unless the city or town conducts an inquiry into the availability of services from other providers in the area, holds a public hearing on the proposal and determines the costs and benefits of the proposed facilities.
The bill would have also prevented cities or towns in Indiana from entering into partnerships such as the one that has made the wireless network in Rio Rancho, N.M., possible.
The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns contends that private sector investment in broadband infrastructure in Indiana is not sufficient. "Mayors across the state have begged service providers for broadband for years, only to be told that the market is not there," IACT claimed in a position paper. * * *
"One of the first questions a municipal official is asked when discussing location with a prospective new member of the business community is about technology infrastructure, and broadband service in particular," Matthew Greller, IACT executive director, said.
Many Indiana municipalities have already implemented broadband programs to help attract businesses and keep jobs in the state. The city of Marion is among them.