City of Chanute fighting against new telecommunications bill - KOAM TV 7

City of Chanute fighting against new telecommunications bill

Updated January 31, 2014:


Telecom's (AT&T and Cable One) wouldn't bring fiber broadband service to our town, so we chose to build it ourselves.  Now, draconian legislation has been brought forth to stop us.  If Senate Bill 304 passes, municipalities will lose local decision-making, local choice, and local control.  As a society, we will lose the opportunity to innovate.  Chanute, Kansas is fighting this bill.  Fight with us.  Contact the Senate Committee on Commerce and our state legislators.

A Stop Bill 304 website has been set up to help you contact legislators (a sample letter and contact information) and keep you updated:


Fight with us… this is our story (YouTube video):


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Posted January 29, 2014:  Introduced by the Kansas Senate Commerce Committee on Monday, Bill 304 proposes that all municipal voice, video and Internet services are provided through fair competition.

Chanute citizens met to converse over how the bill could affect the their broadband infrastructure, something the city has been building for the past fifteen years with its fiber communications gigabit network.

"Chanute is one of the few communities I think in the state and actually of many communities in our state, with our size with our broadband and inter connectivity," said Dr. Jim Hardy, School Superintendent. "And it's crucial for our community, for our business growth, for our hospital, for our college and for our school district."

Officials say there are plans to expand the gigabit network to local homes.

"We are looking into a fiber to the home project in the city of Chanute and we're still on investigation on that," said Larry Gates, Director of Utilities.

Gates hosted the lunch and meeting, inviting an open discussion.

"I think we had a good prospective from both points of views," said Rebecca Gates, Chanute CFO. "We has some people here for the fiber to the home project in Chanute, some people were here against it. But we had a good discussion to answer to kind of understand those questions."

Those for and against the bill spoke on whether it would affect the existing Internet services, and if it would hinder or enhance future advancements. They also touched upon whether or not this was a matter of state taking control over municipal affairs.

"It's really about local control," said Gates. "It's about home rule it's about the cities really having the abilities to decide what they're going to do."

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