OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

Washington Post: 7 Colorado communities to Big Telecom: It's cool, we got this

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 16:38 -- Eva Prkachin

Big Telecom have been doing their darndest to prevent communities from building their own super high-speed Internet services, but you just can't stop grassroots Internet users.

Article by Nancy Scola for the Washington Post

Voters in seven cities and counties in Colorado voted Tuesday to free their local governments to offer Internet service.

The votes marked a defeat for big, traditional Internet service providers such as Comcast that have successfully maneuvered to inject limits on municipal broadband into state regulations over the last decade. Now cities are figuring out ways to push back, including wiggling out from under laws the industry helped put in place.

Nearly two dozen states have laws limiting the ability of local governments or their partners to offer their own broadband services, often passed with the encouragement of big commercial broadband providers who complain about unfair competition. But Colorado's version of the law is unique in that it offers an escape hatch. The 2005 state law allows municipalities to provide high-speed broadband Internet if "an election shall be called" and a majority of voters signs off on the idea.

- Read more at the Washington Post