The text of SB205 became available a few short moments ago and, as currently worded, would ban the use of RDA funds on telecommunications projects. (See lines 651-3.) The bill is a direct response to Centerville’s attempts to build out fiber optics infrastructure in the city to promote next-generation networks. Given Sen. Bramble’s significant power and influence, it is critically important that each of you contact your state senator and representative to ask that the provision either be stricken or amended to allow use of RDA funds for telecom provided that the infrastructure is open to any provider.
(Update 2/18/09 by Mike Taylor) – Here is the actual text of the bill, the link above shows the status.
Centerville is getting closer to using RDA money to build a fiber hub in the city even as the threat of Sen. Bramble’s RDA amendments loom. The city council was unanimuous in voting to draft final documents to make it all happen. Once built, it would rescue about $2M worth of “stranded investment” at a cost of around $100K.
Sen. Bramble’s boxcar legislation for the changes, SB205, may contain provisions that would allow such carrier-neutral infrastructure to be built with RDA money, but there’s still a very strong chance that the provision would be nixed and telecom spending banned outright. You’d better contact your state senators and representatives to make them aware of what’s coming.
UPDATE: The Standard-Examiner has more on the story.