The Other FCC Decision
This article is about the fight for municipal broadband.
On February 26th the Federal Communications Commission issued two decisions. One concerned net neutrality, the other municipal broadband. The first garnered by far the most attention, as it should. Net neutrality affects everyone and locks down a fundamental principle for Internet access.
But as another presidential campaign looms the FCC decision on municipally owned broadband may offer more fertile ground for a vigorous political debate on the role of government and the scale of governance.
The decision arose from a petition to the FCC by Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina asking it to overturn state laws that prevent them from extending their highly successful publicly owned networks to surrounding communities eager to connect. The FCC’s decision affects just those two states’ laws but will undoubtedly become a precedent to evaluate most of the other 17 states’ restrictions on municipal broadband.
— David Morris, Institute for Local Self-Reliance