As the FCC considers the role of local authority in expanding Internet access, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is hearing from coalitions opposing state barriers on municipal networks. On July 3, Executive Directors from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the National League of Cities (NLC), and the National Association of Counties (NACo) sent Wheeler a joint letter of support [pdf].
From the letter:
The diversity of cities and counties in America also reflect differing values and needs. As such, Local governments should have the flexibility to address broadband and Internet access in a way that meets the needs of the people they serve.
The importance of Internet choice at the local level has never been more important. In many places in the U.S, locally-driven projects—including innovative partnerships with private sector companies—have demonstrated that local creativity and local authority is a viable means by which new next-generation broadband infrastructure can emerge.
The letter was close on the heels of a parallel Resolution passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) at their June 22nd Annual Meeting. From the final Resolution:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors recommends that the FCC preempt state barriers to municipal broadband service as a significant limitation to competition in the provision of Internet access.