WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS APPLAUD FEDERAL COURT DECISION ON MUNICIPAL BROADBAND
Washington, DC (August 10, 2016) – On behalf of thousands of small businesses across the nation, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) is pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reversed the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 order preempting Tennessee and North Carolina laws that restrict the expansion of municipal broadband networks outside city boundaries.
WISPA agrees with the 6th Circuit that the FCC’s preemption action was an over-reach of its authority. WISPA believes that state and local governments have a valid role in promoting broadband deployment. But there are sound policy reasons why municipalities should not be using taxpayer dollars to deploy broadband that competes with privately-funded broadband networks. Instead, municipalities can and should adopt measures that encourage more private investment, such as tax incentives, streamlined access to municipal assets, and funding support.
Alex Phillips, President of WISPA, said: “We’re heartened by the court’s decision because the federal government shouldn’t be imposing its views on states without explicit legal authority from Congress, and there are other ways to incent broadband deployment in under-served areas without undermining private companies that already exist to provide such services.”