White House Backs Cities That Want to Build Their Own Super-Speed Internet

by Rachel Baker on January 18, 2015

I think this is really important news – and while it may not mean much of anything yet, I believe it might be one of those things where its the cornerstone moment for fighting a future monopoly with qualities like Ma-Bell had in the 70s and 80s.

Read More:White House Backs Cities That Want to Build Their Own Super-Speed Internet

Five years before Google Fiber came to Kansas City, the residents of Chattanooga, Tennessee were already enjoying the ultra-fast speeds of gigabit internet speeds. But those connections didn’t come from a private company like Google. They came from the municipally owned utility.

Chattanooga isn’t alone. Cities like Wilson, North Carolina and Lafayette, Louisiana have likewise given up on waiting for private companies and started their own ultra-highspeed internet services. But some community efforts have been stymied by state laws prohibiting governments from competing with private internet providers.

Critics of these laws have long argued that they protect entrenched telecommunications companies at the expense of customers who need and want faster, cheaper service, while defenders of the laws say it’s unfair to make private companies compete with tax funded government agencies that don’t need to turn a profit to survive. On Tuesday, President Obama sided with the critics.

“The Obama Administration believes that consumers should have the option to provide themselves broadband services through local government and locally-owned utilities and that state and local policy should support a level playing field for these community-based solutions,” reads a White House report on community broadband initiatives.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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