Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to email@example.com
I am writing regarding Alliance for Quality Broadband Maine’s (AQBM) campaign that was recently waged in my town. On Friday, June 17, a new Facebook feed, “Broadband For Maine –- Protect Southport,” popped up. The title caught my attention, and after reading the content, I questioned their involvement in my island’s community vote.
Southport’s mailboxes were inundated with AQBM fliers and we only learned who was behind the curtain after the vote due to the investigative reporting by Maine Public’s Steve Mistler, “Charter-Funded Group Campaigns Against Maine Municipal Broadband, Riling Residents and ‘Partners,’” which revealed that Charter Communications (Spectrum) financially contributed and their efforts which were executed by an in-state consulting firm, Resurgam Group.
On July 12, the online podcast Techdirt, ran a story, “Charter’s Running a Fake Consumer Group in Maine That’s Killing Community Broadband — With the Help of A Democratic Advisor.” Karl Bode reported, “It’s not that hard for a monopoly to spend a few hundred thousand to scuttle such a vote. That’s great for them, as it saves them millions in potential competitive headaches, but it can often wind up hurting the taxpayers these bogus groups pretend to be so breathlessly concerned about.”
If an established west coast internet watchdog is raising questions publicly about efforts to derail Maine’s rural broadband projects, shouldn’t we be doing the same?