November 8, 2011
TALLAHASSEE – Today, a number of pro-business groups joined together to launch the Florida Coalition for the New Economy (CNE), an organization dedicated to ensuring all residents of the state have access to innovative technologies and policies are fair, fiscally responsible and allow for increased access.
Group members are particularly concerned about the wasteful duplication of existing or planned Internet service. The role of governments should be to make certain that Internet services are available to every American – not to compete head-to-head against the private sector that is already offering such services.
“When government enters the market as an Internet service provider, it has a distinct advantage over private providers,” said Bill Herrle, Executive Director of National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/Florida. “Government entities don’t pay the same taxes or abide by the same regulations. Unfortunately, this has the effect of stifling private investment in broadband, hurting the private sector’s, especially small businesses’, ability to create jobs and expand economic opportunity for the whole state.”
State and local governments are not prepared for the large costs associated with deploying, maintaining and enhancing advanced broadband networks. Accordingly, these costs inevitably fall to the taxpayer in the form of higher taxes, which is unacceptable.
Just as taxpayers would scratch their heads over the state erecting new electrical transmission lines in the shadow of existing lines, more and more community leaders are wondering why precious taxpayer dollars are being spent to install broadband Internet lines next to lines which are already delivering high speed service. In times of declining resources for public services like police, fire and education, governments should not be wasting funds on building or expanding networks in areas that already have access to quality broadband services.
“With more than half of Florida government spending happening at the local level, it is vital to the health of our city, county and state economies that these spending decisions are fiscally responsible,” said Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “Local government investment in redundant broadband services not only pulls scarce public dollars away from other critical needs areas, such as education, public safety and health care, it puts taxpayers at risk for the financial obligations that have too frequently occurred with similar government-run projects across the nation.”
Current Florida Coalition for the New Economy members include:
Members of the Florida Coalition for the New Economy plan to work hand-in-hand with local, county and state government to make certain policies are in place to allow every home and business access to broadband Internet, but that public money isn’t being wasted by providing duplicate service where it already exists.
Florida Coalition for the New Economy is a project of the national organization Coalition for the New Economy. Moving forward, the project will have an active online presence through its website at www.FloridaCoalitionForTheNewEconomy.org. This website will house recent news and blog commentary from coalition members, in addition to resources and other relevant materials.
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