Jerry NeSmith's picture

Jerry NeSmith

MEMBER FOR 4 years 11 weeks

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Georgia lawmaker wants schools to go digital by 2020

Local cable companies have a virtual monopoly on the business of providing broadband internet to our homes, schools and businesses. No local government in Georgia can legally compel their local cable company to provide internet access to its citizens, even though access to the internet is becoming more essential every day to every family.

The "digital divide" must be bridged, or disadvantaged students will become more disadvantaged as the tools they use to learn become more digital.

The Georgia Legislature must focus on solving this problem. In granting local franchises to cable companies, require them to provide internet access to every home at prices that are affordable.

posted @ Monday, November 24, 2014 - 07:23

After 3 decades, Athens police Maj. Holeman plans to retire

Major Holeman, this community is fortunate to be the place where your call to police service was heard and realized. Thank you. You and Bernice deserve a healthy, happy retirement

posted @ Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 08:08

Basu: Internet should be treated as a public utility

@Duke Briscoe: You hit the nail on the head, Duke. Add to what you said that the cable companies even have control over who can have broadband access to the internet. With their unregulated monopolies given by their ownership of the local cable plant, they choose which neighborhoods have access, then charge outrageous prices for that access. And the location of their cable plant is their own secret.

posted @ Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 07:36

5 questions, answers on 'net neutrality'

[quote][b]sweept[/b] - ry watching netflix all day using 4g over a cell phone.... (no wifi) see how much it costs...they get to charge for use, why not cable companies?[/quote]

Cable companies charge me to use their services, every month. If they need more money to provide that service, they raise my rate. They do it all of the time and no one can stop them. There are no regulations. This is just like the cell telephone service providers that charge you for downloads, if you use their cell towers to do so (as opposed to wifi).

That has nothing to do with net neutrality.

Killing net neutrality and allowing service providers to create a "fast lane" is charging the content provider (Netflix) for delivering their content to us faster by throttling those not in the fast lane to a slower speed (less bandwidth).

It gives an advantage to the content providers that are already making huge profits and gives them an unfair advantage over those with new, better ideas, but no money to buy the fast lane service.

posted @ Monday, November 17, 2014 - 12:48

5 questions, answers on 'net neutrality'

[quote][b]sweept[/b] - they either skyrocket the amount charged for access to the internet for all users or go out of business.[/quote]

Why would they go out of business? Their costs are fixed. It does not matter how much Netflix streams across their wires, the cost to the ISP or cable company is the same. And the their television signals (on a different bandwidth) are not affected.

posted @ Monday, November 17, 2014 - 08:12

5 questions, answers on 'net neutrality'

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - Will Congress pass a law which will then allow bureaucrats pass a bunch of draconian rules? [/quote]

It is those who have motive to impose new rules that destroy net neutrality that wish to "pass a bunch of draconian rules." Net neutrality is a simple rule.

posted @ Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 13:38

5 questions, answers on 'net neutrality'

"The industry says that’s only fair, considering the companies are investing hundreds of billions of dollars into a network infrastructure that, so far, has prospered without much government intervention."

Some have prospered. Others, rich and poor, are not able to get access that they need. There are many neighborhoods, across the socio-economic spectrum, in Clarke county that do not have broadband service and have been asking Charter for "network infrastructure" for years. Charter is not obliged to provide that service.

Broadband access to the internet has rather suddenly become essential for communications, news, employment and education. The system and the incentives to provide that service to those who need it is not in place. The regulation or lack of regulation of cable companies is based on entertainment needs (the luxury of television), not the utility of the internet.

Until 1983, our telephone systems were regulated, because it was impractical to have a competitive telephone access industry. The high cost of laying in the infrastructure (wires) and the resulting fact that it was unfeasible to have more than one telephone services provider justified the regulated monopoly called AT&T. We have that same problem with broadband service today, and, yet, we have no regulation that requires service to be provided, to prevent monopolistic pricing and assure that the provider realizes a fair return on their investment.

In 1983, we broke up the telephone monopoly because technology overcame the obstacles of a competitive national long lines telephone network. But the local monopolies for broadband access has taken its place.

By the way, the cable plant used by communications companies such as Charter and AT&T runs over, under and along publicly owned infrastructure. Insisting that those companies provide access to that cable plant in a fair and economically justified manner is reasonable and for the general welfare of our citizens and businesses.

posted @ Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 13:33

Tant: Road to space sometimes streaked with tears

Thank you, Ed, for putting the perils of space flight into perspective.

posted @ Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 08:35

Climate-change deniers are like cult

Not the "founder of the weather channel", but NASA:

posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 00:15

Startup working to turn hoverboards into reality

posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 00:05

Cosmic first: European spacecraft lands on comet

Atlanta officials break ground on new trail

Beltline maps:

posted @ Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 07:14

'The Play' still on the minds of Georgia players

posted @ Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 07:03

Huckaby: Remembering Sundays the way they used to be

Thanks, Darrell. That's how I remember them, too.

posted @ Monday, November 10, 2014 - 07:51

NeSmith: Would you like to make a 6-year-old smile?

Here are websites selling Fire Dept. patches:

posted @ Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 08:30

Athens-Clarke police to receive $250,000 DUI enforcement grant

It appears that the GOHS money for these special programs, such as H.E.A.T., comes from the Federal Government, namely the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA):

posted @ Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 08:08

Fall of Berlin Wall still changing the world

Me and my family were living in Germany when the East Germans announced an "ease in travel restrictions". The East German Trabants caused major traffic jams on the West German autobahns that Sunday. The whole series of events was quite remarkable.

posted @ Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 07:54

Federal appeals court upholds anti-gay-marriage laws in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee

Dissenting Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, who made her support of same-sex marriage known during the trial, slammed Sutton and Cook for taking what she called a "wait and see" approach, noting women still wouldn't have equal rights if other courts had adopted similar reasoning.

"If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams," she wrote.

posted @ Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 18:46

Stanford: Partisan political bickering is the point of America

What is harmful about political party labels is not what they mean to the people who carry them, but what they mean to those who disagree with one label or another.

Here is a definition of "liberal" that seems fitting: "open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values."

And "conservative": "holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion."

posted @ Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 08:36

UGA police: Student threatened mass violence on campus with assault rifle

Good police work!!

posted @ Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 06:35

Government meetings this week

• Mayor and Commissioners Voting Meeting, 7 p.m., Tuesday

posted @ Monday, November 3, 2014 - 07:16

Nunn wants to use government to solve problems

The headline to this "news" article is an opinion--not news.

posted @ Sunday, November 2, 2014 - 07:46

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay

@Oistrakh: There is but one God, and that God made Tim Cook.

posted @ Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 17:28

Mitchell: Climate change is bad science

[quote][b]Kwijibo Junior[/b] - e can't use those facts and data to predict the future with any degree of certainty.[/quote]

There is a great deal of certainty about what the variables that influence climate change. There is a great deal of certainty about how those variables have changed in recent history. There is a great deal of evidence that the climate is changing rapidly.

But don't let these facts stand between your concept of reality and what Fox News wants you to believe.

Sea level rise
Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.

Global temperature rise
All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880.5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase

Warming oceans
The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

Shrinking ice sheets
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.

Declining Arctic sea ice
Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.

Glacial retreat
Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.

Extreme events
The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.

Ocean acidification
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.

Decreased snow cover
Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.

posted @ Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 07:54

Feds: Engineer's sleepiness caused derailment

Five accidents in 10 months! May 2013-March 2014

posted @ Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 07:10

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