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Michigan’s Michele Hoitenga Kills Her Own Broadband Ban Bill; Chamber of Commerce Objected

Phillip Dampier October 26, 2017 Community Networks, Competition, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband 1 Comment

Hoitenga

In what must be a new speed record, Michigan’s Republican state Representative Michele Hoitenga introduced and then effectively pulled support for her bill that would have banned community broadband initiatives across the state.

Introduced Oct. 12, the bill succinctly banned any use of public funds to construct a municipal internet alternative to the phone and cable companies. The bill came under immediate criticism for its content and accuracy, erroneously transposing speeds of a “qualified internet service” as one offering at least 10Mbps upload speed and 1Mbps download speed.

Hoitenga claimed the sudden interest from telecommunications companies that began donating to her campaign in this election cycle ($2,500 from Telecommunications Association of Michigan, $1,500 from AT&T Michigan, $500 from Comcast Corporation & NBC Universal, $500 from Michigan Cable Telecommunications) had nothing to do with her bill and would not have impacted her vote.

“I’ve got to be a voice of the people,” she told Cadillac News, adding she introduced the bill because she wanted to start a conversation. But after her constituents and the media (including Stop the Cap!) started asking questions, Hoitenga banned and blocked several reporters from her Twitter channel and wrote on her Facebook page that she had received death threats and profane phone calls about her bill.

Hoitenga also faced criticism from consumer groups and public policy organizations for attempting to eliminate a rural broadband solution for large rural areas of the state with inadequate service.

As quickly as the bill was introduced, its author declared it effectively dead because members of her area’s Chamber of Commerce objected to the bill’s wording.

“I really respect the chamber,” she told the newspaper, explaining that she will now not hold hearings on the bill, which will effectively kill it.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Dan says:

    That took some moxy!







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