Thursday, February 25, 2010

LD 1697 Killed in Maine Legislature

On Feb 23, 2010 the Utilities and Energy Committee of the Maine Legislature unanimously voted "ought not to pass" on LD1697 "An Act To Protect Universal Service", sponsored by Representative Stacey Fitts.  The bill sought to set new rules with respect to University of Maine System provision of telecommunication services to UM campuses and related sites.

The intent was, at least in part, an attempt to head off what was seen as unfair competition between governmental organizations and private communications providers -- in particular FairPoint.  Misconceptions of the role of UMS in the roll out of the Three Ring Binder Project also seemed to be at work.  Discussions within the Committee, comments from affected parties made to the Committee, and extended discussions involving UMS and FairPoint representatives appear to have clarified matters for all concerned.

Maine is a small and a poor state.  There is far more to do in provision of high quality telecommunications infrastructure than any of the parties can manage on their own, now and especially as needs expand in the future.  There is room for everyone's best efforts in rolling out services to Mainers with no current broadband options, and regularly improving services to those already with modest link.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments. They will be reviewed for relevance before being moved to the blog.