Published on March 31, 2015
This is a letter I wrote to my Tennessee state Congressman and state Senator last week that I wanted to make open.
Representative Gravitt and Senator Gardenhire,
My name is David White, and I live in your district. I’m the Founder of Barred Owl Web , an IT consulting company that works with nonprofits and small businesses. We’re a member of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for your service in the State Legislature.
I’m asking for your support of TN HB1303 / SB1134: “AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 7, Chapter 52, relative to additional authorization to provide broadband and Internet services.”
As you know, Chattanooga is becoming a world leader in technology services and technology infrastructure. The job growth and economic success our city sees is a direct result of EPB’s investment in high-speed internet.
Huge internet service providers like Comcast provide low-quality services, and their customer support isn’t any better. Without competition coming from organizations such as EPB, these services won’t improve for everyone.
This improvement is hindered as a direct result of Tennessee law that currently blocks EPB’s broadband expansion.
As an IT consultant, I work with several nonprofit organizations, and I see first hand how beneficial a reliable broadband connection can be. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals deserve a choice, and often times there are only subpar choices available.
EPB’s expansion would improve these choices, increase market competition, and increase the overall quality of internet for thousands of Tennesseans.
I urge you to support the bill in your respective Chamber.
Thank you for taking the time to work on this project. I am a very conservative person perhaps to the right of Attila the Hun. Competition is always good. The Lobbying efforts of the telecoms is a disgrace because they seek to destroy competition and seek restrictive laws that keep them their monopolistic position. This is corny Capitalism at its worst. With the introduction of the local utility boards in this market the telecoms will be forced to improve their service and coverage. As it stand now internet providers are the most hated companies on the planet. One of my friends Mike Bell is a senator in the TN House I would like to know how he stands on this issue.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. As a conservative, how do you balance the fact that EPB is a municipality-owned utility government with your values and with your thoughts that the Tennessee legislature should allow their expansion? I agree that competition is a good thing, and as you probably read, I think that EPB’s expansion would be a good thing. But I also know that they are technically a government entity. I wrote this blog post over a year ago in 2015, and I was disappointed that the bills didn’t pass last year or this year.