Letter: Internet home service and Olympia lawmakers

Brian Martel on the issue of Internet broadband service to our homes and pending bills in Olympia.

Brian Martel on the issue of Internet broadband service to our homes and pending bills in Olympia.

• Topics: Washington state, Health,

I’d like to express my appreciation of Jon Humphrey’s well-informed article on broadband that appeared on your website last Wednesday. Just as with health care, Americans pay more and get less than in other countries. As Humphrey demonstrates, our standards for upload/download speeds are about 1/10 of those elsewhere. This is especially egregious now that people are working and schooling at home, and facing these limitations on a daily basis.

Now I’ll add to the conversation by pointing out a big reason for the discrepancy in broadband service between us and the rest of the world. Special interests have an iron grip on our government. Through the “first service laws” of SB-5511, broadband providers have purchased monopolistic powers. With laws like these, Washington State can’t compete with Chattanooga, let alone South Korea.

Fortunately, our state government is less in thrall to corporate interests than at the federal level. A bill has been introduced in our Senate addressing the issue of out-of-control spending on political campaigns. This bill is SJM 8002, and goes around a corrupt U.S. Congress by calling for a convention of the states to propose an amendment. Putting campaign-finance controls right in the Constitution places sanity above the reach of the courts as well. On Friday, January 29, a Senate hearing took testimony from citizens on this bill, and about 77% of those registering their positions indicated their support. If you would like to join in this effort, please reach out to your state Senator. Thank you very much!

Brian Martel, Lake Stevens

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