by Seth L. Cooper
Free State Foundation
February 27, 2014
Perspective
Following its second judicial rebuke in as many attempts to impose Internet regulations, the FCC proposed a new plan to exert FCC power over broadband Internet services. The plan calls for examination of state laws that keep local governments out of the Internet business. It hints at federal preemption of state-level restrictions on municipal broadband projects. But preemption would undermine local government accountability. States that safeguard taxpayers from dicey government-owned broadband ventures are safeguarded by constitutional principles. Rather than restrict states’ ability to ensure the financial soundness of their cities and counties, the FCC should promote successful private sector-led investment into faster and better broadband networks. When it comes to local barriers to broadband investment, the FCC should seek ways to end rights-of-way discrimination, streamline tower siting rules, reform franchising processes and fees, and clear away other red tape.



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