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SBC official seeks 'to set the record straight'

To the editor:

After reading Mr. Bill Milligan's April 24 opinion piece, I feel compelled to set the record straight regarding House Bill 142, Missouri's broadband certainty legislation.

Your claims that House Bill 142 is anti-consumer and anti-competitive are un-equivocally untrue. This legislation is about creating an environment that en-courages economic development and provides more choices for customers.

House Bill 142 is simple and clear and provides assurance that the state will not regulate broadband any more than required by the FCC. This bill provides regulatory certainty for companies, like SBC, who want to invest in Missouri.

This legislation has the potential to help make Missouri a more competitive place to do business and allow Missouri businesses and consumers to reap the true benefits that additional broadband deployment can bring — new jobs, increased investment and greater choice of broadband service providers.

There is no question that consumers would benefit by the passage of this legislation, as it would provide greater choice in broadband service providers and the continued development of advanced technology. Many Missourians currently don't have access to broadband services and some only have access to one provider, the cable company.

A recent report from the Department of Economic Development indicated that Missouri lags the national average in the percentage of ZIP codes with broadband Internet providers. In addition, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce reports that Missouri leads the nation in jobs lost in 2002, with 77,700 jobs lost.

Regulatory certainty could remove Missouri from the top of these lists.

Gene Maggard,

regional director of external affairs,

SBC Missouri

Editor's note: As noted last week, the legislation that Mr. Maggard refers to in his letter was defeated by the Missouri Senate Commerce and Environment Committee with a 5-5 vote.

  • Aunt Maggie's on Main
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