Skip to main content

Cable companies want the FCC to squash local cities' own networks

broadband wire internet
Not just anyone can unspool these bad boys

Local governments in two US cities have taken the internet into their own hands, building high-speed networks for their residents to use.

And broadband association USTelecom - which represents Comcast, Time Warner and other internet providers - is determined to stop them.

It's not just that residents whose municipalities provide internet for them are no longer subject to Comcast and TW's horrible and pricey service; it's that these governments can't be trusted to do it right, USTelecom said.

And now it's petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop progress in its tracks.

Haven't heard that one before

Specifically the broadband association wants the FCC to deny petitions filed by the cities of Wilson, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee asking the Commission to override state laws that could make those cities' own broadband networks illegal.

"States are well within their rights to impose these restrictions, given the potential impact on taxpayers if public projects are not carefully planned and weighed against existing private investment," USTelecom Senior Vice President of Communications Anne Veigle wrote in an official blog post.

"The success of public broadband is a mixed record, with numerous examples of failures," she continued. "With state taxpayers on the financial hook when a municipal broadband network goes under, it is entirely reasonable for state legislatures to be cautious in limiting or even prohibiting that activity."

At least she admits that the association is calling on the FCC to block cities' broadband expansion for that "and other reasons." Wonder what those other reasons could be?

Via The Guardian