August 4, 2007

Community Broadband Act would overturn bans on municipal broadband

Eric Bangeman:

A bill introduced into the House of Representatives this week will attempt to spur broadband development in the US by overturning existing state bans on municipal broadband deployments. Titled the Community Broadband Act of 2007, the bill (PDF) is cosponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

Currently, laws in Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Texas, and a handful of other states prevent cities and towns from installing and operating their own broadband networks. Most of those laws were enacted in the wake of heavy lobbying from the telecommunications industry, which doesn't want to see competition coming from local governments.

Last year's attempted rewrite of the Telecommunications Act contained a similar provision but never made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. With the state of broadband in the US a hot topic of discussion lately, both on Capitol Hill and around the country, Reps. Boucher and Upton may be able to find allies in Congress a bit more easily this time around. The congressmen are hopeful that, should it be passed, the Act would lead to more—and better—broadband options for US citizens.

Posted by James Zellmer at August 4, 2007 3:54 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Broadband | Politics | Taxes