Riemer Issues Statement Following Cable President Powell’s Speech

Hans Riemer on Budget Plan Jan 13Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer today (May 1) issued a statement in regards to comments made by Michael K. Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, during the keynote address on April 29 in Los Angeles to open the Cable Show 2014—the NCTA’s annual conference.

“While I agree with Mr. Powell that this nation needs to do a better job of investing in our infrastructure, that is by no means a justification for turning the Internet over to private parties to derive maximum profits at the expense of consumers,” said Councilmember Riemer, who is the Montgomery Council’s lead member for digital government. “The contribution citizens make to ISPs in the form of providing access to their communities’ public assets such as rights-of-way—many times for free or less than market rates—is often forgotten in statements such as Mr. Powell’s. And I find it ironic that Mr. Powell, speaking for an industry that has torn up the nation’s streets on an ongoing basis, would use potholes as an example of why private industry should be unregulated when using public assets.

“Local governments want and need broadband services for both our corporate and private citizens. We look forward to working with FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler to ensure that a proper balance is struck that incents public and private investment in broadband, but protects consumers and the communities in which broadband assets are deployed.”

Mr. Powell’s keynote remarks can be found at:

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