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]


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]


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]

(Great Beyond)

Utah Lawmaker Apparently Tired Of Residents Having Fast, Competitive Internet Access, Proposes Law To Stop Expansion

Municipal fiber networks might just be the wave of the future when it comes to speedy internet access. The cable companies already providing internet access, though, aren’t always so keen on the competition–and those companies have deep pockets and access to lawmakers’ ears. And so now Utah becomes the latest state to try legislative measures to bar its cities, towns, and counties from diving into the ISP market. [More]


Kansas Legislature Wants To Stop Any Other Kansas Cities From Getting Google Fiber

The Kansas state legislature is currently considering a bill that would prohibit municipalities in that state from building out their own municipal broadband networks. Completely coincidentally of course we’re sure, Kansas City is home to the country’s first Google Fiber municipal network. [More]