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State legislators in Tennessee are getting ready to vote on the so-called Omnibus Technical Corrections Bill, Amendment SB 3880/HB 3796, in just a few days. Far more than a "correction," this is a massive, complicated plan to use taxpayer funds to expand government's reach over telecommunications by expanding Government Owned Networks.
As history shows, government owned anything usually can't hold a candle to private sector services. Other government entities like the postal service or the DMV are hardly renowned for their service, commitment to quality, and the availability of low-cost services. That's because the government doesn't have any incentives to make them a competitive alternative in most markets.
Unfortunately, rather than going the smart route that would get more communications services to more people by simply doing away with Government Owned Networks, Tennessee is considering expanding these networks. This comes at a high cost that goes far beyond the taxpayer dollars at risk. Opening up markets to private investment brings more consumer choice, lower prices, and most of all: jobs.
Local governments and states across the country are already struggling to make ends meet. Rather than looking for more places to spend and displace private enterprise, Tennessee's legislators should be looking at ways to stop spending and the growth of government.
These leaders need to hear from you today. Please take a minute to email and call, urging them to vote "No" on the Omnibus Technical Corrections Bill and oppose Government Owned Networks.
Only weeks ago, the state was ravaged by floods and the cost to the state, local governments, and businesses are enormous. We need to make sure our priorities are in the right place. Spending millions of dollars to do what private companies are already doing shouldn't be first on the list. Government Owned Networks have failed in many other instances. Here in Tennessee, Memphis Networx lost $28 million. That's certaintly an example we shouldn't follow.
Please contact the Senators and Deputy Governor above and ask them to oppose the Omnibus Technical Corrections Bill.