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The Source: FCC Proposal Could Ease Cities’ Efforts For Municipal Broadband

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Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his support for regulating broadband access like a utility, some of the strongest regulations possible for the industry.

Along with his other proposed rule changes is the  endorsement of a policy that would make it easier for cities to ignore state laws in order to create their own municipal broadband systems. Texas is one of 20 states that ban municipalities from entering the telecommunications industry.

Two cities have asked the FCC to review the legality of such bans: Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC. Both cities have existing municipal broadband networks, and have been reigned in by subsequent legislation at their respective statehouses.

What will these proposals mean for Google Fiber's expansion plans?

San Antonio has been working towards utilizing existing fiber capacity through CPS Energy's fiber cable, to link major institutions. The San Antonio Area Broadband Network (SAABN) wants the medical center and UTSA linked with other research and city facilities on ultra-fast internet. 

Is the SAABN becoming a reality? And should the city stop there?

Guests:

  • Leticia Ozuna, former city council member who helped found SAABN
  • Sarah Morris, senior policy counsel at the New America Foundation
  • Christopher Mitchell, director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive