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Statewide Petition against Broadband Bill Draws Strong Comments - KOAM TV 7

Statewide Petition against Broadband Bill Draws Strong Comments

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE CITY OF CHANUTE

The people of Kansas are demanding their state legislators put voters before lobbyists in addressing communities’ woeful broadband availability.

Yesterday, a statewide petition drive launched for municipalities and individuals to insist the Kansas Senate Committee on Commerce bring NO broadband bill forward until they visit their constituents in person and learn about their inadequate broadband. The petition is posted here: www.chanute.org/stopbill304petition

The Kansas Senate Commerce Committee allowed the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association (KCTA) to write and submit a draconian bill that ignored communities' constitutional home rule in order to drive away competition, and eliminate communities' ability to use broadband to improve our local economies, education and healthcare delivery.

After hundreds of Kansans rose up, spoke out and put their foot down, the Committee on Commerce removed the bill when KCTA promised to "tweak it."

Community broadband stakeholders and other Kansas taxpayers strongly believe this is the wrong response. Communities, particularly the 71% of Kansans in rural areas, are the ones who own the problem of broadband. They want their legislators to visit with them first before attempting to take away communities’ right to solve broadband problems in the way their citizens and elected officials feel is best.

The text of the petition reads:

Sen. Lynn, we the undersigned insist that the Committee on Commerce or any other state legislative committee bring NO broadband bill forward until you visit with us, your constituents who own the problem of inadequate broadband.

1. Come visit us in person to see how broadband can dramatically increase individuals', local businesses' and institutions' ability to grow and prosper.

2. Come visit with us to see how bad our broadband options really are.

3. Come visit with us to understand why any bill that interferes with constitutional home rule is totally unacceptable.

Our community stakeholders will work with legislators to schedule a time and location where you can sit down, meet with your constituents and discuss how our elected legislators can help us bring better, faster broadband to our constituents.

While resolute in our demand that SB 304 be killed in its entirety, and no part return that infringes on our ability to facilitate broadband solutions we deem best, we are willing to work with our elected officials and private sector companies that can move us forward.

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