Posted August 29th, 2012 by seanm
Humboldt County requests Governor to veto SB 1161, an ALEC supported measure designed to hinder public oversight of the telecommunications industry by the State and to tie the hands of local jurisdictions.
In a letter yesterday (August 28, 2012), the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors requested Governor Brown to veto SB 1161, noting: "SB 1161 weakens open Internet protections and subverts long held State policy 'To continue our universal service commitment...' Why abandon our commitment to least served people and places?" That letter is attached below.
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors initially raised concerns about SB 1161 (IP-enabled services) through action taken on May 1, 2012, sending a letter to the Bill's principal author Senator Alex Padilla -
"Unfortunately, the Legislature neglected to consider the concerns raised by Humboldt along with other County and City jurisdictions," said Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, which serves as lead agency for broadband deployment and adoption efforts in Humboldt County. "But it gets worse," he added, "because SB 1161 also neglects to address many important consumer protection and public interest concerns - from public safety to privacy. SB 1161 needs to be vetoed by Governor Brown."
With support from New America Foundation, McLaughlin, who is also a Knight Media Policy Fellow, actively participates in statewide efforts to inform public policy and to advocate on behalf of local interests, including community anchor institutions serving public, education and government purposes.
Concerns about SB 1161 were raised by Access Humboldt from early April 2012 and are posted online, for example:
State broadband bill hinders universal access to open internet
National groups also opposed SB 1161, including Free Press, the Rural Broadband Policy Group, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, National Hispanic Media Coalition, AARP and others - pointing out that a controversial industry lobbying group called ALEC is behind SB 1161 in California.
ALEC bill in California threatens universal access to open internet
Subsequently, the issues identified by the County of Humboldt (and other local governments) along with Access Humboldt and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services, were not addressed by the State Legislature nor were any substantive amendments considered that would resolve concerns of local governments, consumer advocates and public interest groups. Access Humboldt pointed out the inadequacy of those amendments when SB 1161 was last amended on the Assembly floor (August 16, 2012).
SB 1161 update - amendments to ALEC bill are "woefully inadequate"
North Coast Assemblymember Jared Huffman voted no on the measure in Committee, as did Humboldt County's own Assemblymember Wes Chesbo on the Assembly floor, along with State Senator Noreen Evans and a distinct minority of State legislators.
National experts are deriding SB 1161 with noted legal scholar Susan Crawford describing the measure as "Torching California's Broadband Future" in a recent Wired article -
Local governments, public interest groups and consumer advocates are encouraged to support County of Humboldt's request for a veto, and to contact Governor Brown to express their views on SB 1161.
Governor Jerry Brown's contact page is here: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php
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|SB 1161 Letter of Opposition Re CPUC and Broadband.pdf||55.37 KB|