You asked and incumbent State Rep. Jason Lewis and challenger George Georgountzos have answered your questions. This is the final round of answers provided by the State Rep. candidates to your questions.
Lewis, a Democrat from Winchester, is facing Stoneham resident and Republican challenger Georgountzos for the State Rep. position, which represents the communities of Stoneham and Winchester.
Here are the candidates' responses to readers' questions:
How can you encourage more broadband competition to bring down prices?
Lewis: "I completely agree that reliable, affordable broadband is a key part of the infrastructure necessary to compete in today’s global economy. We should encourage new competitors like Google and others to enter the market to help drive down prices and improve the quality of broadband services. This may require updating and changing the regulations that currently govern telecommunications providers in Massachusetts. We should ensure, however, that any regulatory changes to encourage greater competition do not hurt the financial viability of our local cable access providers (like StonehamTV or WINCAM)."
Georgountzos: "While I must admit I am unaware of the details the alleged monopoly in this area, I certainly consider myself a free-trader and believe competition brings the best goods and services to the market at reasonable prices. If in fact there is a oligopoly/ monopoly fleecing consumers, we are lucky that in Massachusetts we have an active consumer protection regime and enforcement mechanisms within the Attorney General's office to address such problems. As your state representative, I would make sure that such documented problems would be brought to the attention of the appropriate regulatory offices. But more to your point, to the extent towns are able to negotiate with service providers (as they are with cable companies), I would support efforts that bring more choices to consumers by bringing known players to the attention of town officials. As a member of the Stoneham Finance & Advisory Board, I would be interested in learning more about this specific issue; please drop me an email via my campaign website at www.georgeforstaterep.com."