WRITTEN BY SAM GUSTIN
Two weeks after a federal court dealt a major blow to municipal broadband advocates, dozens of US mayors and city leaders vowed on Wednesday to continue the fight for local control of next-generation communications networks.
These community leaders are speaking out after the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to preempt state laws that pose barriers to municipal broadband development.
In a letter to the mayors of Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC—the two cities that had asked the FCC to preempt such state laws—forty-two US mayors and local leaders expressed their “support and solidarity with your efforts advocating for the ability of all communities to choose the broadband solutions that are right for each of our communities.”
“We believe in aligning broadband options with community needs, instead of being hindered by restrictive, one-size-fits-all barriers sometimes put up at the state level,” the city leaders wrote. “While our paths vary, we are united by our commitment to competition and the right of self-determination for all our communities, free from interference.”