Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- In cities and towns across the
U.S., a familiar story is replaying itself: Powerful
companies are preventing local governments from providing
an essential service to their citizens. More than 100 years
ago, it was electricity. Today, it is the public provision
of communications services.
The Georgia legislature is currently considering a
bill that would effectively make it impossible for any city
in the state to provide for high-speed Internet access
networks -- even in areas in which the private sector
cannot or will not. Nebraska, North Carolina, Louisiana,
Arkansas and Tennessee already have similar laws in place.
South Carolina is considering one, as is Florida.