While Senator Thom Tillis is (in his mind) smart to refuse to support Loretta Lynch for United States Attorney General because he doesn’t like her politics, claiming she would continue to pursue a law suit against a law he helped usher through the General Assembly when he was Speaker of the House, he needs to back off when it comes to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission that reverses a law he ushered through the General Assembly when he was Speaker of the House.
His statements about Lynch are well documented and written about in this space yesterday. Today, we’re on the side of the FCC. To hell with the NC statute that limits expansion of city-owned broadband service. Thank you FCC. In this case, Tillis is not really on the side of the law he passed. He’s squarely on the side of private communications companies who supply landline services in a monopolistic fashion. These are the people with terrible service and the customer service skills of someone from the government who calls and says, “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m calling to help you.” Run for cover it that happens to you.
This case is about the town of Wilson NC which in 2008 established town-owned broadband service, offering better services for less than the privately owned firms do. The citizens went along with it because it was better, faster and cheaper than the private alternative. Remember, it was a start-up, and even if a private firm had come to town and installed all new equipment and provided services, financial losses would have been the norm, especially in 2008 when the economy tanked. Wilson lost nearly $7 million in the first five years before profiting by over $700,000 in 2013. Numbers are not available for 2014. In 2011, the town of Wilson wanted to extend its services beyond its borders. Tillis and his buddies in the General Assembly saw to it that Wilson had to stop at the town limits.
The law Tillis passed with lots of lobbying from his corporate friends prevented Wilson from expanding and was based on a taxpayer supported entity losing money while competing against free-market forces of private enterprise. (If that thinking applied to all of government, there would be no government. All government agencies, especially the General Assembly, "lose" money while operating.) At the time Tillis was not for the citizens of Wilson and beyond obtaining broadband (call it internet if you wish) at reasonable rates, those that are not gouged by the private companies such as Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Charter and others. Therefore, he was flabbergasted at the FCC ruling in favor or Wilson and against his law. In this case, Tillis should back off. It’s one thing to oppose the nomination of a North Carolinian to the post of US Attorney General; it’s a dastardly thing to do something to cause higher cable rates. This is a time for Senator Thom Tillis to back off!
Dictionary.com word of the day
butyraceous (adjective) [byoo-tuh-rey-shuh s]: of the nature of, resembling, or containing butter