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FCC Reverses State Authority to Preempt Municipal Innovation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made history today by issuing a memorandum stopping the states of North Carolina and Tennessee from preventing municipal Internet services from expanding. The decision is a step in the right direction toward preventing states and private companies from restricting new ways cities can connect people to the information they need.

CablesThis decision, and the FCC’s support of net neutrality, affirms the important role of democracy in our society. Voices from people all across the country are turning the tide, from depending solely on private providers to having the option of Internet service as a public utility. Equal access to a net-neutral Internet is fundamental to the ability of grassroots activists to create their own media when mainstream corporate media ignores our stories.

By setting a precedent in support of municipal broadband systems for communities throughout our nation, the FCC’s decision stops our state and private Internet providers from attempting to prevent Seattle and other Washington State cities from building their own municipal broadband systems.

The City of Seattle has studied the feasibility of building its own municipal high-speed broadband system for some time. This April, the Executive is expected to deliver a final set of recommendations on how to achieve it. I look forward to that report.

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