The city of Chattanooga wants to be able to offer its city-owned broadband service to surrounding towns, but Tennessee law prohibits it. (photo: ash)

FCC Chair Now Has Two Chances To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Thanks to deep-pocketed telecom lobbyists, 20 states in the U.S. have laws that either ban or heavily restrict local governments from creating or investing in public broadband networks, and more states are trying to jump on that ban-wagon. For months, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has been saying that his agency could use its authority to preempt these anticonsumer laws and give municipalities the ability to invest in Internet infrastructure if they want. Now it’s time for Wheeler to put up or shut up, as the FCC ponders petitions from groups in two states. [More]

(carlylutzmann)

FCC Chairman: FCC Should Preempt State Laws That Ban Or Restrict Municipal Broadband

Broadband competition in the United States stinks. One alternative is for local entities — cities and municipalities — to create their own public networks, when big companies like Comcast don’t or won’t serve them. But in 40% of states, there are laws on the books implicitly or explicitly forbidding public broadband. This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears to be making good on his earlier remarks and is directly challenging those state laws. [More]

Will FCC Overturn State Laws Blocking Municipal Broadband?

Will FCC Overturn State Laws Blocking Municipal Broadband?

Because heaven forbid someone other than cable and phone companies offer quality Internet access, some 20 states have laws that either ban or heavily restrict municipal broadband, and recent attempts to ban muni broadband in Kansas, and Georgia have only failed following public outcry. Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler gave some hope that his agency would stop new bans from being put in place, but didn’t mention the fate of the existing laws. [More]