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Senate Bill 66 Crafted By Qwest to Kill UTOPIA

by Peter Ashdown

Two years ago, the Utah Legislature passed a bill that prevented local municipalities from competing directly with providers of internet, telephone, and video services. However, they left open the possibility that cities could build municipal networks that would then in turn be leased to providers of such services. Now Qwest is trying to change the rules again by helping to draft a bill that stops cities from backing municipal bonds to build such networks. Senate Bill 66, drafted by Senator Bill Hickman (R) St. George was hand crafted by Qwest to protect their monopoly and kill the UTOPIA project.

Qwest’s actions are expected but ironic, the very network they are protecting for themselves was originally built directly with taxpayer funds. What has been done since then was constructed on the backs of captive customers. How Senator Hickman expect cities to build fiber networks without backing municipal bonds is a mystery. Maybe he doesn’t and that suits Qwest’s agenda just fine.

Please let your Senators and Representatives know what you think of their protection of the incumbent monopoly:

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Posted by windley on February 2, 2004 09:48 AM