Comcast cancels promo event at Kansas state commerce committee chair's home

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Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has cancelled a promotional event that was scheduled to take place at the home of Kansas State Senator Julia Lynn, chair of the Kansas Senate Standing Committee on Commerce.

Notably, Lynn introduced a controversial bill to the committee in January that would have made it illegal for municipal governments in Kansas to set up broadband networks that would compete with private Internet services providers including Comcast.

The news was first reported by the Kansas City Star. According to the paper, Comcast decided to move the event, which showcased Lynn's new home security system, after the Star made an inquiry about it.

A Comcast spokesperson told the Star that Lynn didn't receive any of her equipment or services for free. FierceCable also reached out to the same company representative over the weekend, but has yet to receive a response.

Lynn told the paper she thought the Comcast demonstration would give her a better understanding of how security technology works.

"If there is a venue to do that as a state senator, what's the problem with that?" she was quoted.

"There is no reason there's any questioning about this," Comcast spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert added to the Star.

It was Lynn who introduced Senate Bill No. 304 to the commerce committee, after it was drafted by the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association (KCTA), a lobbying group that includes Comcast.

The bill, which received heavy criticism from consumer groups, was shot down in the committee. Similar bills were subsequently introduced in a number of other state legislatures. 

Lynn is quoted in a Comcast release saying, "We can control everything … remotely from our iPhone or iPad, even on the Senate floor!" Lynn says in the release."

For more:
- read this Kansas City Star story
- read this Ars Technica story

Related links:
Wheeler: no more bans on municipal broadband networks
Minnesota legislators serve up bill to ban community broadband
Georgia legislators propose bill to curtail community broadband