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Georgia Votes Down Municipal Broadband Ban in Bipartisan 94-70 Vote

Powell

Powell

Georgia’s House of Representatives on Thursday killed a bill that would have made community-owned broadband networks difficult to build and impossible to expand.

House Bill 282 failed with a bipartisan vote — 94 against and 70 for, with the help of Democrats and rural Republicans who represent poorly wired districts.

The measure would have made Georgia the 20th state to place impediments on public broadband networks, usually built in areas where incumbent providers have failed to offer good service.

Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he voted against the measure because the lack of broadband has already cost his community economic development opportunities.

“You cannot get it, you cannot keep it without high speed fiber,” Powell said. The provider, he said, “ wouldn’t provide it because they knew they didn’t have to. They provided whatever crumbs from the table they wanted.”

The majority of those voting for the broadband ban were Republicans, but a curious block of mostly urban Democratic legislators also supported the bill.

Stop the Cap! encourages Georgia readers to reach out to these elected officials and let them know you are disappointed with the way they voted on this measure. It is more likely than not that another version of this bill will be introduced next year, making it critical that likely supporters of anti-broadband bills have an ample warning in advance you will be watching them:

  1. georgia flagAlex Atwood (R – Brunswick) District 179
  2. Mandi L. Ballinger (R – Canton) District 23
  3. Timothy Barr (R – Lawrenceville) District 103
  4. Ellis Black (R – Valdosta) District 174
  5. Buzz Brockway (R – Lawrenceville) District 102
  6. Bob Bryant (D – Garden City) District 162
  7. Jon G. Burns (R – Newington) District 159
  8. John Carson (R – Marietta) District 46
  9. David Casas (R – Lilburn) District 107
  10. Joyce Chandler (R – Lawrenceville) District 105
  11. Mickey Channell (R – Greensboro) District 120
  12. Mike Cheokas (R – Americus) District 138
  13. Christian Coomer (R – Cartersville) District 14
  14. Sharon Cooper (R – Marietta) District 43
  15. Robert Dickey (R – Musella) District 140
  16. Matt Dollar (R – Marietta) District 45
  17. Mike Dudgeon (R – Johns Creek) District 25
  18. Geoff Duncan (R – Cumming) District 26
  19. Earl Ehrhart (R – Powder Springs) District 36
  20. Virgil Fludd: Voted against community broadband.

    Virgil Fludd: Voted against community broadband.

    Virgil Fludd (D – Tyrone) District 64

  21. Carol Fullerton (D – Albany) District 153
  22. Mike Glanton (D – Jonesboro) District 75
  23. Mark Hamilton (R – Cumming) District 24
  24. Ben Harbin (R – Evans) District 122
  25. Brett Harrell (R – Snellville) District 106
  26. Calvin Hill (R – Canton) District 22
  27. Bill Hitchens (R – Rincon) District 161
  28. Penny Houston (R – Nashville) District 170
  29. Mike Jacobs (R – Brookhaven) District 80
  30. Rick Jasperse (R – Jasper) District 11
  31. Jan Jones (R – Milton) District 47
  32. Sheila Jones (D – Atlanta) District 53
  33. Darryl Jordan (D – Riverdale) District 77
  34. David Knight (R – Griffin) District 130
  35. Edward Lindsey (R – Atlanta) District 54
  36. Chuck Martin (R – Alpharetta) District 49
  37. Howard Maxwell (R – Dallas) District 17
  38. O'Neal: Voted to protect incumbent providers.

    O’Neal: Voted to protect incumbent providers.

    Rahn Mayo (D – Decatur) District 84

  39. Billy Mitchell (D – Stone Mountain) District 88
  40. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D – Austell) District 39
  41. Greg Morris (R – Vidalia) District 156
  42. Chad Nimmer (R – Blackshear) District 178
  43. Larry O`Neal (R – Bonaire) District 146
  44. Butch Parrish (R – Swainsboro) District 158
  45. Don Parsons (R – Marietta) District 44
  46. Allen Peake (R – Macon) District 141
  47. Alan Powell (R – Hartwell) District 32
  48. Jimmy Pruett (R – Eastman) District 149
  49. Matt Ramsey (R – Peachtree City) District 72
  50. Nikki T. Randall (D – Macon) District 142
  51. Tom Rice (R – Norcross) District 95
  52. Jay Roberts (R – Ocilla) District 155
  53. Carl Rogers (R – Gainesville) District 29
  54. Smith: A business owner that doesn't mind if rural Georgia is left behind.

    Smith: A business owner that doesn’t mind if rural Georgia is left behind.

    Ed Rynders (R – Albany) District 152

  55. Jason Shaw (R – Lakeland) District 176
  56. Donna Sheldon (R – Dacula) District 104
  57. Barbara Sims (R – Augusta) District 123
  58. Earnest Smith (D – Augusta) District 125
  59. Lynn Smith (R – Newnan) District 70
  60. Calvin Smyre (D – Columbus) District 135
  61. Jason Spencer (R – Woodbine) District 180
  62. Ron Stephens (R – Savannah) District 164
  63. Valencia Stovall (D – Ellenwood) District 74
  64. Willie Talton (R – Warner Robins) District 147
  65. Jan Tankersley (R – Brooklet) District 160
  66. Sam Teasley (R – Marietta) District 37
  67. Ben Watson (R – Savannah) District 166
  68. Al Williams (D – Midway) District 168
  69. “Coach” Williams (D – Avondale Estates) District 87
  70. John P Yates (R – Griffin) District 73
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