Bill Faison
  • Bill Faison

Caswell County Commissioners have taken a stand against Sen. David Hoyle’s anti-municipality broadband bill (S 1209), by proposing H 2067. Introduced by Bill Faison, a Democrat representing Orange and Caswell counties, the bill allows Caswell County to enter the Internet marketplace and potentially build its own network.

State Rep. Faison says Caswell County Commissioners decided they needed to expand on North Carolina law, which allows municipalities to build their own broadband systems. In 2005, an state appeals court ruled that towns and cities had the right to offer high-speed Internet to their residents.

In making his case for the bill, Faison cited as an example electrical co-ops across the state that brought basic utilities services to under-served towns. “High speed internet is just as important today as electricity was in another era as a basic service,” said Faison, a proponent of municipal broadband.

“We need to supply to every one. Where AT&T will go and provide at a reasonable cost, I am happy to let them do it—but where they won’t go, someone must step up and bring that service to those people,” he added.

Faison called Sen. Hoyle’s bill, S 1209, a “poison pill” to municipal broadband, adding that high-speed internet access might be considered a luxury—just as roads, electricity and phone once were—but in the global marketplace, success depends upon bandwidth.