It is duplicitous to suggest that the incumbents represent the “free market” against “government-subsidized” municipal networks. Incumbents are incumbents precisely because they have had the weight and resources of government to back them up for years. Furthermore, they have had backing from those levels of government - the federal and state - which are least pervious to direct participation by local residents. Municipal networks, funded by the public and accountable to the public, represent a balance to the domination of telecommunications infrastructure by huge corporations which have long enjoyed substantial government subsidy. Banning or restricting municipal networks will end this effort to create a level playing field.
SEATOA Conference Set for March 21st-22nd
This March 21-22, the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SEATOA) will be hosting the "Networking Communities for the New South" conference. The conference will be held at the Omni Charlotte Hotel.
We are excited to see Susan Crawford as the keynote speaker. From the conference page:
She will provide a broadband policy reality check, and answer – among other questions –whether current so-called “level playing field”, “free-market” policies are leaving us with a second class network that only the rich can afford.
Some of the issues discussed will be:
- Public and private resources
- How to offer services to schools and other government institutions as a way to save costs and yet build a platform for high bandwidth use
- Info on the Research Triangle Park's North Carolina Next Generation Network, (NCNGN - sounds like NC Engine)
- The National Public Safety FirstNET and municipal network
- How to build, operate, and integrate social media into, local Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels, and into your organization's lobbying campaigns to obtain optimal reach