FCC Loses Court Battle To Let Cities Build their Own Broadband

Jacob Kastrenakes, writing for The Verge: The Federal Communications Commission’s plan to let cities build their own broadband networks hit a major roadblock today, as a federal appellate court ruled that the commission was overstepping its authority. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said today that the FCC is not able to, essentially, remove state laws that prevent the construction of municipal broadband networks, as it attempted to do in Wilson, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee last year. Both Wilson and Chattanooga had petitioned the FCC for permission to build out their own broadband networks — a measure some cities are turning to in order to increase competition among internet providers, who often hold regional monopolies and more or less refuse to compete. State laws, however, prevented them from doing so; that’s the case in 19 states in total, all of which could have been affected by future FCC orders had the court ruled in its favor.Ars Technica has more details.


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