9-8-14 – MacDonald on Telecom competition

Posted by John McClaughry

Orange county Democratic Sen. Mark MacDonald appeared at a Montpelier hearing last week on extending telecommunications services to every nook and cranny of the state. He said he’s watched residents leave his district for years because they can’t access the world’s business infrastructure from the rural area.

He continued, “They want someone to give them a grant to build a tower to cherry pick the customers — the customers, they can charge whatever they want to. And they wish to be able to come in and lobby us against anything that would give them competition.”

He has a point. The government should not be rewarding private sector businesses with subsidized cell towers and government–enforced monopolies.  But MacDonald seems to be OK with keeping the subsidies coming, with a lot of regulatory conditions to protect the public that gets the bill for the infrastructure.

I wonder how many of MacDonald’s constituents fled the rural areas of Orange County because of poor internet service. All they had to do was move down to Randolph Center or Bradford, or just buy a satellite dish – like I did for three years before DSL arrived in the wilds of Kirby.

What really amuses me is Senator MacDonald’s sudden enthusiasm for competition. This is a senator who says he believes competition will bring better service for his district’s cell phone customers, but who invariably opposes any competition in education and health care. Gimme a break.

– John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jim bulmer September 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm

If McDonald believes Telecom issues are causing businesses to leave, I suggest he and his fellow legislators look in the mirror for the real reason.

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