Slow, expensive, or unavailable broadband creates frustration for consumers. This has prompted a growing number of communities to seek out other options. Dozens of American cities and towns have launched their own fiber-to-the-home networks. These networks are considered by many experts to be the fastest and most reliable way to access the internet.
Major investments are a challenge for any community. High-speed networks are no different. These projects require millions of dollars and years of planning to complete. The major commercial internet providers present another challenge. They oppose local government involvement. These providers have persuaded at least 20 states to adopt restrictions that prevent or discourage cities or towns from owning or operating high-speed networks.
COMMUNITY BROADBAND INTERNET: Policy
Policymakers should ensure that all communities maintain the right to own, operate, or deploy their own broadband network and services. Those networks should be allowed to expand to new areas. This ensures access to fast, reliable, and affordable broadband for everyone.
Federal policymakers should prohibit state laws or regulations that restrict community broadband networks.