CCAGW Urges Ohio Conference Committee to Support Amendment to HB 110 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Ohio Conference Committee to Support Amendment to HB 110

State Action

June 17, 2021

Ohio Statehouse
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4275

Dear Legislator,

On behalf of the 124,028 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Ohio, I urge you to support AM4546-1 of the Senate omnibus amendment to Sub. House Bill 110, which would protect the tax dollars of hardworking Ohioans by promoting private sector investment in broadband and preventing the waste of their money on unnecessary government-owned networks where private sector broadband networks are already providing online access.

Expanding access to broadband in unserved communities is a bipartisan and critical objective, and Ohio has moved this process forward by removing barriers to deployment that will drive private sector investment into unserved areas of the state.  The private sector has invested more than $1.7 trillion in broadband networks across the country, which has enabled Ohio and every other state to increase the availability, reliability, and quality of broadband service to their residents. 

As Citizens Against Government Waste stated in their issue brief, The Folly of Government-Owned Networks, expanding broadband into unserved and underserved areas of the country is best achieved when money provided by the government for network development does not designate a single technology or set a preference for government-owned networks (GONs).  Expanding and building government-owned broadband networks is wasteful and inefficient as it often overbuilds existing networks and wastes taxpayer dollars.  A 2014 Mercatus Center study concluded that GONs have virtually no impact on the economic status of a town or city, other than making the size of government larger.

While AM4546-1 follows Ohio law by allowing GONS to be built, it provides important guardrails on broadband deployment by limiting the expansion of GONs to only unserved areas of Ohio, encouraging private broadband network investments, and ensuring transparency that will help to protect taxpayers from paying for network overbuild where other networks currently exist.  The amendment also protects taxpayers against future tax increases and regressive fees to pay for these networks.

For these reasons, I strongly urge you to support AM4546-1 of the Senate omnibus amendment to Sub. House Bill 110.

Sincerely,
 
Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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