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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kansas Republicans working to keep their state in the last century

I was stunned by the headline I saw yesterday:

It seems Kansas is--or was--about to advance to the 21st Century, what with the Kansas City Kansas and Missouri area being chosen by Google to get their Google internet Fiber product. With this, residents would have the option of getting internet speeds up to 100 megabytes per second. (Trust me, that's fast).

Well, Kansas Republicans, apparently, will have none of that "progress" stuff. It seems they want to pass a law with the following passage, according to The Daily Kos

Except with regard to unserved areas, a municipality may not, directly or indirectly:
    (1) Offer to provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications or broadband service; or
    (2) purchase, lease, construct, maintain or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications or broadband service to one or more subscribers.
And what does that mean, you might ask?  Kos explains:
When a new provider comes into a market, they generally want some assurances; the right of way from a city, use of public right of ways, and yes, they in many cases will go for city buy ins, like tax incentives or the use of public space for property.
This is VERY true in rural communities, where without city governments investing, there is no broadband internet at all, and in Kansas City, where Google received tax and city help in laying lines and services.
Now, the state of Kansas wants to make sure that the best kind of competition is.. no competition.
By arguing that access to a cell phone = internet access, many areas of Kansas will be stuck with NO internet services, and cities may find themselves in hot water, being forced to get out of the internet business for their citizens.
The article gives the example of the little town of Chanute that--rather wisely--built its own internet system for the people, for the town. It's working quite well, it's said, by people like the Superintendent of their school system, as just one fairly good example. He should know, right?
This legislation would do away with that.
Because, well, Socialism.
Chanute, Kansas may already be on the wrong side of this law.
Screw the people. Forget progress. Wait for the media corporations to have their way with you and to have them give you what they will, for whatever price they want to gig you for.
All hail, Capitalism.
And what is the opposite of progress, anyway?
I mean besides Kansas Republicans.

What the corporations have in mind both for themselves and the nation, for us:

It's a cartoon alright.

It's just not funny.

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