FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has spoken several times about how he plans to preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband networks. In 20 states, there are legal restrictions making it tough for cities and towns to offer Internet service to residents.
Wheeler hasn’t yet offered a specific proposal or time frame in which the FCC would take action, but yesterday he spoke on the topic again and detailed how the laws deprive some Americans of broadband Internet service. Wheeler wrote a blog post titled “Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband” shortly after meeting with Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
EPB, a community-owned electric utility in Chattanooga, offers fiber Internet, TV, and phone service to residents. “Mayor Berke and the city’s leaders recognized that today’s high-speed broadband networks will be the indispensable platform for tomorrow’s economic growth and the jobs of the future. That’s why Chattanooga invested in building out one of the nation’s most robust community broadband networks,” Wheeler wrote.
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