This letter appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader today.
Anti-growth groups diminish poor Kentuckians’ opportunities.
For years, fearmongering groups like the Kentucky Resources Council have cried “the sky is falling” while vehemently opposing legislation that would encourage investment in the commonwealth.
Now, this group is attacking commonsense legislative proposals that increase access to wireless technology by updating Kentucky’s antiquated telecom regulations.
The KRC hypocritically touts protecting underserved Kentuckians while denying the very kinds of reforms that would afford them greater economic opportunities.
While this group spreads misinformation — including Tom Fitzgerald’s recent Herald-Leader op-ed framing support for modernization as a ploy by big companies — it willfully ignores the truth, not to speak of the big picture.
Residents in states that have updated their laws have not lost basic service or access to 911.
Additionally, telecom companies like AT&T, which Fitzgerald pettily picks on, are in the process of investing billions of additional dollars in various states in the form of new cellphone towers and expanded wireless service in inadequately covered areas.
How much of that investment lands in Kentucky depends on lawmakers’ willingness to look past fearmongering rhetoric and toward the Bluegrass state’s future.
President, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions