“Telecom firms fight public-sector competition”

This Associated Press background article datelined Kutztown provides a readable overview of current efforts by telecom companies to squash municipal competition. Louisiana gets a brief mention as one of the states where the push to use state laws to outlaw local competition was less than completely successful for the telecoms.

Kutztown is pretty little town in Pennsylvania’s Amish region—I’ve got a soft spot for this region of rolling hills and narrow roads clogged with Amish horse-drawn buggies, since Sunday drives in that area were one of the pleasures of my position at the University of Delaware. Kutztown was one of the first towns to build its own fiber-optic system and has been regularly and unfairly presented in telecom company-sponsored propaganda as an example of how such builds have failed. (For Kutztown’s reaction to this treatment, see the section on Kutztown in the TriCities “Broadband Failures” page.) Presumably the local reporter who wrote the story has the background to help cut through the incumbents’ fog machine.