Senators Introduce Community Broadband Act

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Angus King (I-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Community Broadband Act to preserve and protect the rights of cities and localities to build municipal broadband networks. Municipal broadband can often provide an affordable, reliable option for rural and low-income communities that face persistent barriers to high-speed Internet access.

Specifically the Community Broadband Act will amend the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to ban any state, local, or tribal statute or regulation that prohibits cities from providing high-speed Internet.

“Internet access is an economic necessity in today's economy, but too many communities lack reliable access,” Senator Booker said. “I saw this problem first-hand as mayor of Newark. In places where reliable, high-speed Internet access is lacking, some municipalities have bridged the gap by investing in and offering broadband Internet to their residents. But barriers to municipal broadband networks remain. Our bill will help remove these barriers by giving cities the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their residents.”

“In Maine, places like Rockport, South Portland, and Sanford are demonstrating that municipalities play an important role in creating broadband infrastructure that will help provide high-speed internet at affordable prices to businesses, schools, and homes,” Senator King said. “It’s this model of public-private cooperation that will open doors of opportunity and can help connect rural communities across the state and the country, which is why it’s critical that we take steps to protect local choice and support the abilities of the towns and cities to participate in locally-led broadband efforts.”



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