As we have mentioned earlier, a state senator in Kentucky is targeting the Frankfort Plant Board (FPB), which operates a public broadband utility in the state's capitol city, with a bill that would seriously threaten their existence. A large number of public broadband advocates have come to the aid of FPB by expressing opposition to the bill.
Below is a letter developed by CBAN expressing our support of FPB and opposition to this short-sighted attempted legislation.
January 16, 2024
To: Members of the Kentucky General Assembly
From: Curtis Dean, Community Broadband Action Network
RE: Legislation forcing the sale of Frankfort Plant Board’s broadband business
The Community Broadband Action Network, or CBAN, is a nationwide organization with over 150 members in 24 states and one Canadian province. Since its founding in 2018, CBAN has served as a passionate advocate for community-focused broadband. Our provider members are small providers, municipal utilities, independent telecommunications cooperatives and mutual associations, and privately owned companies with a strong community focus. Every CBAN provider member is a home-grown success story. We are proud to call Frankfort Plant Board one of those community minded members.
CBAN’s mission is Building Broadband Bridges. So, it is disheartening to hear that the Kentucky Legislature is thinking of tearing down the broadband bridge that has served the community of Frankfort so well for so long.
The proposed legislation introduced by Sen. Gex Williams and aimed at the Frankfort Plant Board represents government action at its most callous. Creating a law to impact one company feels like petty politics at its worst. The people of Frankfort have spoken with one, clear voice: they love FPB and its service to the community. So do local leaders, including elected officials in the city and Franklin County.
We ask a simple question: what public purpose does this legislation accomplish? We contend that no such public purpose exists, only the very private purpose of Sen. Williams’ political agenda and to benefit large, private providers with little community spirit that would likely swoop in and pick up the pieces from a shattered Frankfort Plant Board.
On behalf of our CBAN team and our members, we strongly urge you to reject Senator William’s bill and allow the citizens of Frankfort to determine their own technological fate.
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.