Thanks to NWCitizen and John Servais for allowing me to post this slightly irregular article, but the city council has oddly moved up the consideration of the Dig Once Policy I’ve mentioned in all of my fiber articles. They could be doing this because they’ve seen the error of their ways and the logic behind supporting this, or they could be planning on presenting a policy that is so outrageous that they hope to kill the idea on behalf of the big telecoms. After all, it was Ted Carlson (our pro-Verizon land use policies public works director) that prepared the policy for consideration this Monday. They may simply be hoping to do this so rapidly that they think we can’t respond in time and organize. So please, come and speak out in support of Dig Once, net-neutrality, and the 1st Amendment on Monday, April 23rd, at 7pm at City Hall. I will be there at 6pm with a protest sign. I hope you will join me.
Below is a blurb with more details:
I received the following important e-mail from James Erb (the city’s attorney) today.
“The Dig Once Policy will be introduced to the city council at its next meeting on Monday, April 23. The council packet will include additional information that may be of interest to you.”
We really need to get the word out and have people show up to speak in support of Dig Once. If it’s anything like the CenturyLink meeting, the big anti-net neutral telecoms will send lots of lawyers, etc. to speak on their behalf. Now is the time to post, post, post! The public comment period is at the 7pm meeting. Note: The speaking time is 3 minutes per person. I will review the packet and see if they hobbled the policy or not. It will be on the COB meeting website. Sorry for so many updates this week, but this one is really important.
It is very important that we understand, that regardless of our party affiliations, the attack on net-neutrality was an attack on our 1st Amendment rights. The new laws go into effect next month. Although WA state passed net-neutrality laws, the big telecoms like Comcast, CenturyLink, Verizon, AT&T and more are already attacking the legislation and arguing federal preemption of our net-neutrality laws against it. They will NEVER stop attacking our most basic rights. It’s time to support a Dig Once Policy and get something better, cheaper, and more ethical in Bellingham. Now is the time to get the word out and support this.
I will review the packet and provide an analysis on it. I will also contact City Hall tomorrow and ask for the legislation to be mailed to me immediately. They have it ready, and we can’t let them post late on Friday and then approve it on Monday without giving us a real chance to review it. It’s a classic tactic.