The GOP is Actively Working To Prevent Local Ownership of Broadband Service

February 3rd, 2015 by Andy in Media and Democracy

This is what the GOP in the House has voted to keep from happening in your hometown, and another reason why what is transpiring right now regarding FCC deliberations over regulatory policies regarding the internet are so important.

Both of the major U.S. business parties are beholden in various ways to corporate interest, but the GOP is off the charts in that regard, using politics to protect the likes of Comcast, and prevent a “public option” from being applied to the internet. Chattanooga and a few other cities that have led the way in making this happen, have proven all too well that public broadband not only works, but is superior to anything TW or Comcast is going to provide. Thus, it must be squelched.

House Votes to Save Bans on City Internet Service

Republicans want to stop the FCC from preempting state laws

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, spearheaded the amendment that would bar the FCC from using any funds to prevent states from imposing limits on city broadband. The amendment, which is attached to a fiscal 2015 spending bill, passed mostly along party lines in a 223-200 vote.

Blackburn’s home state of Tennessee would be a likely first target for FCC action.

Chattanooga, Tenn., has rolled out a high-speed fiber Internet network for its residents. The service, called “Gig City,” offers speeds about 50 times faster than the national average for about $70 per month.

A state law, however, is keeping the city from expanding the service to other communities that want it, according to the city’s mayor.

As my colleague Michael E. stated (though I would reiterate the fact that we do have very dismal communications policy)…

“Let’s see . . . Congressional representatives owned by telco interests vote to protect the rights of their State legislators who have also been bought by the same corporate interests. This isn’t so much about the dismal state of communications policy in the US as the need for major campaign finance reform.”

This is all pretty sick stuff.

Here’s one relatively recent report regarding what’s transpired in Chattanooga, giving some good insight into why having a publicly owned broadband system can be so tremendously vital to the well-being of our communities in the 21st century.

Fast Internet Is Chattanooga’s New Locomotive

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