FCC Blocks State Laws Banning Municipal Broadband

Written by SK Ashby

Good news -- the FCC has officially blocked laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that prohibit cities from developing their own municipal broadband.

“The bottom line of these matters is that some states have created thickets of red tape designed to limit competition,” echoed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “This decision is for the right of Americans, through their elected local officials, to make their own decision about their broadband future.”

Republicans, who supposedly love the Free Market, are adamantly opposed to competition and consumer choice.

The Republican members of the FCC panel called the vote to preempt state laws "appalling" because competition is the stuff of liberal tyrants and an affront to the people who may now have more choices.

In reality, the idea that the FCC has defied "the will of the voters" is preposterous. Cities that have held successful votes to create their own broadband networks have been blocked by state legislators who do not directly represent the city or its people. It would be more accurate to say the state legislators represent Comcast.

Conservatives will tell you that they are opposed to these big government regulations, but laws that prohibit cities from establishing their own utilities is itself a big government regulation; a regulation that limits competition and innovation.

Update... the FCC voted to enforce net neutrality across the country at roughly 1 p.m. EST today.