Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband. [More]

(Ken Fager)

North Carolina May Be Next To Get Google Fiber

It’s been nearly a year since Google announced plans to expand its Google Fiber broadband and pay-TV service to new markets around the U.S., but the company has yet to say which of the 34 eligible cities would be the next to benefit from much-needed competition, but there are some indicators that folks in North Carolina may be getting on the Google fiberwagon. [More]

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

The White House is on a tear with major internet issues this winter. After two other speeches this week in which the President called for stronger consumer data protections and stronger cybersecurity laws, today President Obama will deliver remarks in Iowa singing the praises of municipal broadband and asking the FCC to do away with the laws that block them. [More]

(Coyoty)

46 Connecticut Towns Sign On To Plan For Massive Municipal Broadband Project

Connecticut might be a small state, but they’re poised to make a large leap into the 21st century internet. Local officials have announced they’re joining together on a plan to create at least 46 local municipal gigabit fiber networks in the state — an enormous jump from their current number of zero. [More]

AT&T “Intervenes” In City’s Public Broadband Project, But Says They Won’t Interfere

AT&T “Intervenes” In City’s Public Broadband Project, But Says They Won’t Interfere

A small city in Kansas has a fiber network that currently serves local government and civic buildings. They also have a plan in mind to expand that network and offer inexpensive gigabit fiber connections to every resident and business. That’s great news for the locals, but not such great news for the incumbent ISP, AT&T, which has won the right to “intervene” in the process. [More]

(Tom Richardson)

Study: Broadband Still Slower, More Expensive In U.S. Than In Europe, Asia

American consumers have gotten a mixed bag of broadband news this year. Between mergers and net neutrality it’s been a rough twelve months, even while some consumers have seen better connections and dropping prices. But the news for most of us is the same as ever: on the whole, Americans pay more, for worse broadband service, than our peers in the rest of the world. [More]

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

It’s no secret that AT&T and other big ISPs are no fans of municipal broadband projects. There are laws on the books in many states that block the expansion of municipal networks, but the FCC is considering using its authority to override those laws and let communities build networks if they wish. AT&T is also no fan of this proposal. In fact, says AT&T, not only should public networks be barred anywhere there is already a private option, but also they should be barred in any place there might possibly be a plan to build a private option in the future. [More]

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

Say you’re mayor of a small city. Your city is small enough and far enough away from other cities that the big cable companies don’t want to spend what it would cost to run wires through your town, because the amount they will make in return isn’t worth it. That’s reasonable, from a business perspective. So you and the residents of your city get together and come up with a plan to make a public broadband utility instead. Makes sense, right? You’d happily pay someone else to do it for you, but since they don’t want to take your money you’ll do it yourself. Only — surprise! In come those self-same cable companies to block you from doing that, too, and they get your state’s legislature and governor to pass a law against you for good measure, so you can never try again. [More]

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Not very much happens in Washington, D.C. in August. But even as the city slows down, FCC chair Tom Wheeler continues to make strong noises about using the FCC’s authority to preempt state laws that prohibit the expansion or creation of municipal broadband utilities. And now, some members of Congress are joining him. [More]

(jorn)

Comcast Cancels Event At Home Of Lawmaker Who Wants To Ban Municipal Broadband

As we mentioned earlier today, 20 states have laws on the books that ban or severely limit municipal efforts to launch broadband services that compete with the likes of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and their cronies. And several states, including Kansas, are trying to enact industry-backed laws of their own to prevent cities from offering competitive Internet service. Comcast was supposed to be showing off its home security service at the home of the Kansas lawmaker who introduced that state’s ridiculous legislation, but has backed out of it after the media started asking questions. [More]

Now You Can Tell The FCC What You Think About Bans On Municipal Broadband

(Great Beyond)

Last week, a pair of city-operated utility companies petitioned the FCC, daring Commission Chair Tom Wheeler to make good on his promises to overturn ridiculous, industry-backed state laws that ban or severely limit municipal broadband. The FCC has opened the issue up for public comment, so it’s time to make your opinion heard. [More]

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]

Senator Challenges Comcast, AT&T Execs On Opposition To Municipal Broadband

Senator Challenges Comcast, AT&T Execs On Opposition To Municipal Broadband

The Senate Commerce Committee held hearing today on broadband competition, media consolidation, and the future of online video transmission. Among the witnesses were Comcast exec David L. Cohen and AT&T bigwig John T. Stankey. During the hearing, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey directly asked the two about competition from municipal broadband providers. [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]

FCC Chair Admits Google Is Doing Better Job Of Encouraging Broadband Than FCC Is

FCC Chair Admits Google Is Doing Better Job Of Encouraging Broadband Than FCC Is

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler recently stated that he wants to remove the current blockades to municipal broadband, but considering the bottlenecked, red-tape logjam that is the federal government, that could take some time, especially with the amount of money the cable industry pumps into Congress every election cycle. And tomorrow, Wheeler will apparently tell Congress that the private sector is doing a much better job than the feds at bringing about broadband expansion. [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]

(oldeastsidr)

Proposed Kansas Bill Banning Municipal Fiber Expansion Has Met Its Doom

A proposed law in Kansas that would have prevented the expansion of publicly-owned fiber broadband networks in the state is very thoroughly dead, according to one of the bill’s biggest opponents. [More]