Newly proposed legislation in Missouri could prevent municipalities from competing against private Internet service providers.
Proposed by Republican State Representative Rocky Miller, the bill takes aim at “municipal competitive services” without specifically singling out broadband. But it appears to be targeted at Internet service. CenturyLink reportedly objected to a city broadband plan in Columbia, Missouri, recently, and a group advocating for municipal broadband said the bill “would limit communities’ abilities to support broadband deployment in their areas.”
“The state of Missouri is the latest legislature to attempt to erect barriers to the deployment of broadband networks that are critical to the future of its local economies and the nation,” the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC) said. “High-bandwidth communications networks are the electricity of the 21st century and no community should be stymied or hampered in its efforts to deploy new future-proof communications infrastructure for its citizens—either by itself or with willing private partners. It is ironic that while the International CES show in Las Vegas spotlighted hundreds of new devices and applications that require big bandwidth, legislation would be introduced in Missouri that would impair the development of networks that enable that bandwidth.”
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