June 26, 2005

Community Broadband Act of 2005

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. will introduce legislation (called the Community Broadband Act of 2005) Thursday that would allow municipalities to offer broadband service. This Senate bill is a counterbalance to Pete Sessions' proposed bill to prohibit muncipalities from offering broadband. Lautenberg says that "government should work to open doors to greater technology for the American people, not slam them shut. Our bill will protect the right of communities to offer wireless broadband access to their citizens, creating a powerful tool for education and economic development." [Link]

The two senators are offering the legislation because they want to remove all barriers to broadband deployment, the congressional source said -- noting that 14 states have enacted laws restricting localities from establishing wireless or wireline Internet systems. It is also a response to recent statistics showing the United States dropping to sixteenth in broadband penetration worldwide.

Posted by jonl at June 26, 2005 11:24 AM

Robert MacMillan writes in his Random Access column in The Washington Post:


"The debate over whether localities can treat Internet access like telephone service and cable TV has reached the Hill, where two bills -- one backing cities' efforts to provide WiFi, the other protecting the telecom industry's interests -- are set on a collision course."

Posted by: Fergie at June 27, 2005 10:37 AM