Driving broad band deployment to more rural areas, providing constituents price and service competition and optimizing regulation to attract service providers top the list of challenges for state legislators from New England.
They also voiced concerns as part of a roundtable at the New England Cable Telecommunications Association conference.
Although compact geographically, the region provides the challenges of deploying services from the ocean to mountains and from cities and affluent suburbs to farms and forests.
And while the three southern-most states – Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut – are more focused on competition and service variety, the others are looking at expanding service access as Verizon seeks to sell operations in the states to rural operator Fairpoint Communications.
“People in many parts of Vermont don’t even get DSL Internet access,” lamented Vermont Sen. Vincent Illuzi.
“Verizon hasn’t invested enough to be leading edge,” added Vermont Rep. Judy Livingston, who is vice chair of the state’s committee on commerce. “We’re going to make sure Fairpoint has the wherewithal to take over and advance.”
Limited access to broadband Internet has taken its toll on individuals moving to the state from ones where they had high-speed links. “They complain they can’t get the same service as they had in their homes in New York,” said Livingston.
In Maine, where the top revenue sources are tourism, fishing and paper mills, the state has yet to get to the issue of competition that its southern abutters are facing.
“We get far more complaints about broadband access from regions than we do about cost,” admitted a legislator from the state.
When asked if residents have a right to broadband, Connecticut Rep. Kevin Delgobbo replied: “We’re not talking about new and improved soap suds. Broadband is part of people’s lifestyles and regions’ economies.”
Rhode Island and Connecticut seem to be encountering opposite challenges with service deployment.
“Is till hear about the complexity of the services and problems with [providers’] ability to get them resolved,” said Delgobbo.
In Rhode Island, Rep. Peter Kilmartin said residents “like the fact that they get one monthly bill for a service bundle and can make one call if they have technical problems with any services.”
Vermontis one New England state that believes incentives can be effective in helping provider more broadly deploy services.
“We just passed a telecom bill that freed up $40 thousand in bonds to provide the infrastructure that companies need to provide services to rural areas,” said Illuzi. The legislator said he’s working with his comrades in New Hampshire and Maine to ensure Verizon’s sale of its operations in their states to Fairpoint does more than replace once telco with another.肝昏迷患者如何护理什么瘦身方法有效宫颈糜烂有哪些塞的药美容瘦身中青年高血压用药