Bowling Accuses Lobbyists for Internet Companies of Peddling “Lies”

A spokesman for Tennessee’s cable industry says all government—owned broadband internet systems are a failure. But Tullahoma Republican State Senator Janice Bowling says lobbyists for investor—owned internet companies like AT&T are peddling “lies” because they fear competition in largely undeserved rural markets. Several municipal electric and cable systems are opposing a state law that prohibits them from extending service outside their corporate limits. The Tullahoma Utilities Board says it wants to extend broadband service to parts of rural Coffee County. But private internet providers say that puts them at a disadvantage with taxpayer subsidized systems. Bowling has backed efforts to repeal the state ban on municipal expansion. The federal communications commission has moved to over-ride the Tennessee restriction and open areas to municipal service. The state’s attorney general has gone to federal court to challenge the FCC ruling.

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