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NC Senate wants to study city broadband issues

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina lawmakers want to study the impact of allowing cities to offer low-cost Internet service before letting more municipalities get in the business.

The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Wednesday to impose a freeze on cities and towns that want to sell cheaper, faster Internet service than companies offer while a legislative panel researches the issue.

The freeze ends either when legislators adopt new rules governing municipal broadband operations or lawmakers go home next year without a decision.

Cities offering cable and Internet service - Morganton, Wilson, Mooresville and Davidson - could continue and Salisbury would be allow to continue building its system.

The bill must be approved by the full Senate and then the House.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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