The Federal Communications Commission was in full release mode Thursday (March 12), following its online posting of the final Open Internet order with the final order on preempting Tennessee and North Carolina laws limiting municipal broadband. Both were adopted on straight, and contentious, party lines Feb. 26.
The FCC majority said the agency had the power and the duty to step in when states were limiting broadband buildouts. The commission confirmed it did not have the power to overturn state laws preventing municipal broadband buildouts, but if those states allow such networks, the FCC can preempt laws that would limit them.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has tabbed those laws as the handiwork of incumbent Internet service providers trying to prevent competition.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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