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Takes issue with Milligan's stance on HB 142

To the editor:

I must take issue with you concerning Bill Milligan's negative portrayal of broad-band legislation HB 142/SB 221, passed by the Missouri House and now before the Senate.

Contrary to your assertions, this important piece of broadband legislation will not result in lost Missouri jobs and not favor SBC over other broadband providers.

In fact, lifting broadband regulations that only unfairly apply to phone companies like SBC, while other broadband technologies are not regulated, is all about eco-nomic development and creating a climate in Missouri that encourages investment in the broadband infrastructure.

Investment expands our economy — creating jobs and more choices for consumers.

According to a U.S. Commerce Depart-ment study, "Regional economic development benefits anticipated as a result of greater broadband deployment and usage include: job creation and retention, more successful industrial growth, recruitment and retention, improved K-12 education systems and more productive research and development.''

And since cable providers now control over 70 percent of the broadband market, there is no possibility that SBC could have a monopoly.

The current market structure is the result of lopsided regulations in some states, including Missouri, that tie the hands of phone companies, while other providers of high speed Internet access, including cable, wireless and satellite providers, expand unfettered without regulation.

Why should the government, rather than the consumer, favor one type of technology over another?

The demand for DSL broadband technologies supplied by phone companies is great, but prohibitive regulations have adversely affected continued deployment in Missouri. I urge Sen. (Anita) Yeckel to support this broadband parity legislation (SB221).

Eric Scheidhauer


Editor's note:

The legislation Mr.Scheidhauer refers to in his letter was defeated last week by the Senate Commerce and Environment Committee with a 5-5 vote.

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