FCC Just Overruled State Laws That Were Blocking Municipal Broadband

Illustration for article titled FCC Just Overruled State Laws That Were Blocking Municipal Broadband

Good news: Local internet service providers could get a fair shot at competing with big telecom.

In a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission just voted to overrule laws limiting municipal broadband growth in two states. Similar laws blocking cities from building out their own broadband networks exist in 19 other states, and the FCC just set an important precedent.

This is welcome news, though not entirely surprising. President Obama laid out his plan to help loosen Comcast's stranglehold on the country's broadband last month, and a big part of that plan included helping cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee grow their already thriving municipal broadband networks. Chattanooga, the city that gave its citizens gigabit internet before Google Fiber was even a thing, was one of the cities involved in today's FCC hearing, along with Wilson, North Carolina. Now those networks will grow, and hopefully, dozens more will pop up around the country.


Next up, the agency's historic vote on net neutrally. You can watch the vote live here.


Contact the author at adam@gizmodo.com.

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Am I interpreting this correctly? I mean, I know Comcast is horrible and all, but is everybody cheering the fact that access is being taken out of the free market (such as it is) and put in the hands of municipal governments?