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Some North Carolina residents still fight for internet access


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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/some-north-carolina-residents-still-fight-internet-access-n1270943
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Summary

After Greenlight was built, the telecommunications industry pushed through a state law prohibiting any more cities from building their own internet networks, even as rural residents begged for more options.In 2006, after beginning to build the backbone of a fiber optic system for the city, Wilson officials reached out to Time Warner Cable, which was the cable provider at the time, about a possible partnership; the city would build the infrastructure and the cable company would operate it.But Goings said the company was “combative” toward the proposal.“They had an attitude of, ‘We'll decide when you need that level of service, and we don't believe that Wilson needs that level of service,’” Goings said. Time Warner Cable would not only not invest in Wilson, "but immediately started seeking legislation in the General Assembly to prevent us from investing in ourselves,” Goings said.As the city of Wilson pressed ahead with building out Greenlight, Time Warner Cable, along with the North Carolina Telecommunication Association, an industry lobby group, lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly for a state bill to make it nearly impossible for a city to run its own internet service.The legislation failed in 2007, and a year later Wilson launched Greenlight, with over 1,000 homes connected by the end of 2008.Time Warner Cable was acquired by Charter Communications in 2016. “Complaints are at an all-time high and we need help from your office to investigate the business practices of Suddenlink Communications/Altice USA.”The attorney general’s office said it has received more than 650 complaints about Suddenlink since January 2020, as well as letters from several other mayors.“Attorney General Stein is concerned about this issue and our office has been communicating with Suddenlink and officials in the affected communities, and this process is ongoing,” said Nazneen Ahmed, Stein's spokesperson.But Lisa Anselmo, executive vice president of communications at Altice, a telecommunications company that bought Suddenlink, said the company has been in touch with the attorney general regarding its investments in the state.“Suddenlink is committed to delivering high-quality connectivity, service, and support to our customers in Rocky Mount and across North Carolina,” Anselmo wrote in an email responding to questions from NBC News.

As said here by Ezra Kaplan, Haley Messenger