A bill introduced into the House of Representatives this week will attempt to spur broadband development in the US by overturning existing state bans on municipal broadband deployments. Titled the Community Broadband Act of 2007, the bill (PDF) is cosponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).Currently, laws in Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Texas, and a handful of other states prevent cities and towns from installing and operating their own broadband networks. Most of those laws were enacted in the wake of heavy lobbying from the telecommunications industry, which doesn’t want to see competition coming from local governments. — Ars Technica
It’s about time in my opinion that the government step in and create broadband networks and license their use just like a public utility. With today’s networking technology it is completely feasible for a new company to open shop and start offering Internet access on a municipal or state owned network. Unlike water and power works, consumers can have a choice on who they use for Internet access and how much they want to pay. I completely understand the fear that the powerful cable/DSL duopoly control could be undermined by such a offering but I’m certainly all for that! I love free markets but sometimes the government needs to step in so the free market doesn’t become closed due to mergers and acquisitions.