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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 13, 2015

Key Passages and Arguments From The FCC Decision to Remove Barriers to Municipal Networks in TN and NC

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/key-passages-fcc-local-authority-decision/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2015

CONTACT: Rebecca Toews, rebecca@ILSR.org,

(612)808-0689

 

Key Passages and Arguments From The FCC Decision to Remove Barriers to Municipal Networks in TN and NC

The Federal Communications Commission has released the order that allows Chattanooga and Wilson, as well as many other cities in North Carolina and Tennessee, to build, expand, and partner for improved Internet access.

This decision is not the end of the fight. We expect appeals and petitions from other cities to be filed, which follow Chattanooga and Wilson’s lead. Because of this, we isolated some of the key arguments and passages in a tip sheet below.

While the ruling extends only to communities in Tennessee and North Carolina, it stands to benefit communities all over the nation that want to reap the benefits of high-quality Internet connections at lower costs by overturning laws that create barriers to Internet networks. In fact, the order offers many clues as to how this precedent may impact restrictions in other states.

“The FCC’s order is a tremendous step forward to enabling better Internet access in North Carolina, Tennessee, and ultimately the whole country,” said Chris Mitchell, director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “As an organization that cares deeply about a proper balance of power, we believe this decision represents an appropriate tradeoff between local, state, and federal authority.”

 

Summarizing the Decision

The FCC has found that it has the authority to remove aspects of Tennessee and North Carolina law that limit local authority to build or expand Internet networks. In short, states retain the authority to restrict municipalities from offering service at all. However, if states allow local governments to offer services, then the FCC has the power to determine whether any limitations on how they do it are a barrier to the deployment of advanced telecommunications services per its authority in section 706 of the Telecommunications Act.

The FCC has removed a restriction in Tennessee law that prevented municipalities with fiber networks from expanding to serve their neighbors, per a petition from Chattanooga.

In North Carolina, the FCC has removed multiple aspects of a 2011 law, HB 129, that effectively outlawed municipal networks by presenting local governments with a thicket of red tape, including territorial restrictions on existing networks. The city of Wilson had petitioned the FCC for this intervention.

 

Key Points in the FCC Decision to Remove Barriers to Local Choice (each bullet starts with the paragraph number from the order):

Read Full FCC Decision Here

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 2, 2015

Blackburn and Tillis Introduce Bill Aimed to Undo FCC Decision to Restore Local Authority

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/blackburn-tillis-introduce-bill-aimed-undo-fcc-decision-restore-local-authority/

Last week, the FCC made history when it chose to restore local telecommunications authority by nullifying state barriers in Tennessee and North Carolina. Waiting in the wings were Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Senator Thom Tillis from Tennessee and North Carolina respectively, with their legislation to cut off the FCC at the knees. [A PDF of… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Answering Questions About Title II and Munis – Community Broadband Bits Episode 138

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/answering-questions-title-ii-munis-community-broadband-bits-episode-138/

As we near the FCC open meeting at the end of next week, when it will decide on both the Chattanooga and Wilson petitions regarding their wish to expand as well as a proposal to reclassify Internet access a Title II service in order to ensure it can maintain the same open Internet we have… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 26, 2015

Cable Companies Lose Big at FCC, Barriers to Community Broadband Struck Down

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/barriers-community-broadband-struck/

Two southern cities today persuaded the Federal Communications Commission to recognize their right to build their own publicly owned Internet networks where existing providers had refused to invest in modern connections. The 3-2 FCC vote removes barriers for municipal networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina, to extend their high-quality Internet service to nearby… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2015

Missouri Senate Committee Hears Anti-Muni Bill; Private Companies and Groups Ask For No Vote

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/missouri-senate-committee-hears-anti-muni-bill-private-companies-groups-vote/

As the Senate version of Missouri’s latest anti-muni bill, SB 266 [PDF], moved forward recently, a group of private sector companies and interested organizations appealed to state lawmakers [PDF] urging them to stop it in its tracks. In January we reported on HB 437, introduced by House Member Rocky Miller. Its Senate companion, which establishes… Continue reading