FCC to explore removing laws blocking muni broadband networks

|By:, SA News Editor

In addition to drafting net neutrality rules that would prohibit blocking Internet services or discriminating between them (widely expected), the FCC says it will explore eliminating state laws prohibiting municipalities and local government from building their own broadband networks.

At the same time, the FCC has rejected calls from net neutrality advocates to classify broadband ISPs as common carriers, a move that would subject them to tougher regulations than basic neutrality rules would allow. Also, mobile services are set to remain exempt from neutrality rules.

Thanks in large part to lobbying from cable and telco ISPs, 20 states have passed laws limiting public broadband investments. With U.S. broadband prices often far higher than those charged for comparable services overseas, and many cable and telco ISPs relying on high-margin broadband services to offset slumping TV and/or voice revenue, there's plenty at stake over the long-term.

Major ISPs that could be affected: T, VZ, FTR, WIN, CTL, CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC

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