Senator Markey Files Amicus Brief in Support of Municipal Broadband Ruling
Markey previously called on FCC to take action to preserve the rights of cities and towns to build municipal broadband networks
Washington (November 12, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in support of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling to override state laws that restrict cities and towns from expanding their municipal broadband services. Earlier this year, the FCC voted to preempt state law and permit municipal broadband services in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, to expand their networks. Tennessee and North Carolina sued the FCC over its ruling, and Senator Markey filed a brief in support of the Commission.
“In many cases, municipal broadband presents a locality’s only hope for a high-speed advanced telecommunications network,” Senator Markey writes in his brief. “States that seek to preclude municipalities from building these networks necessarily place barriers to infrastructure investment and limit local competition. Congress intended to provide the FCC the tools necessary to encourage deployment of advanced telecommunications networks, and when states impose barriers to that very deployment, the FCC has no choice but to act.”
The text of the brief can be found HERE.
Last year, Senator Markey wrote a letter to the FCC urging the Commission to use its authority to ensure local communities are not inhibited by state laws if they wish to pursue the creation of their own broadband networks. The Senator cited the critical importance of broadband communications networks for economic growth and competitiveness and asked the FCC take action to protect municipal broadband deployment.