By Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom, February 26, 2015
The FCC moved to preempt elements of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that were designed to restrict municipal providers in these communities from providing broadband service outside of their current serving areas. This move could drive other states to act and could result in potential court challenges.
The FCC's order was voted 3-2 on party lines, with Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler joined by fellow Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. The order will let communities choose whether or not to build their own networks based on their own missions and the ability to expand services to nearby communities.
Municipal broadband has been one of Wheeler's key focus areas. In May, Wheeler made a call to explore the idea of preempting more than 19 state laws that prevent or discourage municipalities from building their own broadband networks.