Poll: Will the FCC Preempt State Laws That Limit Municipal Broadband Services?

I use Time Warner Cable for my broadband internet service.  Why?  Because I have no choice.  TWC is the only provider available in my area.  It's either TWC or no wired internet.

You may have noticed that when it comes to broadband internet service in America, you almost certainly have only one option for a service provider – if you have an option at all, that is.  There are plenty of rural areas that have no service, period.

There have been stories of cities and towns wishing to build and operate their own broadband networks, which could bring service to otherwise ignored areas in addition to offering better speeds at competitive prices!

Or they would suck just as much as the other ISPs but hey, at least you'd have a choice!

At least, you might, if 20 states in this country didn't have laws on the books preventing or severely limiting municipal broadband services.

What do such laws hope to accomplish?  Well, some say to keep the gov't from spending tax payer dollars on things they shouldn't be spending tax payer dollars on.  The more cynical among us say it's because the telcoms don't want competition forcing them to be competitive (lower rates, better service, that kind of thing) and threw a lot of money at lawmakers to get these laws on the books.

Now, FCC Chairman (and former telcom lobbyist) Tom Wheeler says he wants to closely examine such laws and is currently taking public comments as to whether the FCC should overturn them.

Here's the question: will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?  Simple 'yes' or 'no' question this week but you're more than welcome to expand on your answer in the comments below.  EZK and I will talk about this and reveal the poll results on this week's podcast.  We record Saturday nights at 6p PST right here on GamePolitics.

Join us, won't you?

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-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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