According to Federal Communications Commission law from February 2015, North Carolina is a place where ISPs cannot sell their services outside their territories. As a result, Greenlight Community Broadband ISP is no longer eligible to offer its services outside Wilson.
This has been hard to comply with and hence a new idea came up. Rather than having to abandon all the broadband users outside their area, the company has thought of something else. For six whole months, broadband access will be totally free for a set number of people (200 in total).In this way, there is a whole new twist in the banning regulations of broadband services for the USA. Instead of penalizing the services, the company has managed to conform to the new law and at the same time provide steady services to users.
This is a win-win situation, without a doubt. To be more specific, the broadband users will have enough time to change to a different provider without having to deprive them of Internet access. Simultaneously, there is a high likelihood that the rule stops applying in the area. In such a scenario, broadband charges will start applying on the spot.
Tom Wheeler and the FCC have already lost in court and there has been a decision to revise the legislation. As per The Wilson Times, the situation is quite vague:
“City leaders are walking a tightrope as they balance their desire to keep Vick Family Farms in rural Nash County and 200 customers in the Edgecombe County town of Pinetops connected to Greenlight with their obligation to obey a federal court ruling that blocks the municipal broadband service from branching out beyond county lines.
The council agreed Thursday night to provide six months of free Internet access and phone service to Greenlight customers outside Wilson County while Wilson lobbies the General Assembly for permission to keep the town connected on a permanent basis.”
It is worth noting though that Greenlight Community Broadband ISP is not offering free cable TV. This is of great importance, of course. Within six months, the cost of providing free cable TV would be off-putting for the ISP to handle losing. So in this way the loss is not significant and the users are pleased. Of course, this is not a permanent solution for these users. But the truth is that a lot can change within the following six months or so.