Stop the Secrecy

Motherboard: Municipal broadband networks given a fighting chance

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:56 -- Eva Prkachin

Citizens were outraged that Big Telecom has been trying to force states to enact laws preventing municipalities from building their own broadband networks. Now, the FCC and some members of Congress are starting to listen, and are looking into ways to preempt laws banning high-speed municipal networks. What do you think of this development?

Article by Sam Gustin for Motherboard

It's been called "the next big fight" in telecom policy: the battle over whether the Federal Communications Commission should preempt state laws that ban or discourage local communities from building their own high-speed broadband Internet networks.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has signaled that he's prepared to do just that. On Tuesday, he received a boost from two influential lawmakers who offered a bit of political cover for what could be a bruising fight with broadband companies and their allies on Capitol Hill who vehemently oppose such a move.

Senator Edward J. Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat, and Representative Mike Doyle, the Pennsylvania Democrat, issued a statement on Tuesday urging Wheeler to use the FCC's authority to remove roadblocks to community broadband. The lawmakers said they were encouraged by Wheeler's response to a letter they wrote last month inquiring about the FCC's plans to encourage community broadband.

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