Legislation that gives municipal utilities in Tennessee the right to expand their broadband services has been tabled until next year.
House Bill 1303 and SB 1134 were put on hold by state lawmakers due to “an apparent lack of support” in the Legislature, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The measures, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) and Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), respectively, were introduced prior to the FCC’s Feb. 26 decision upholding a petition by the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga to vacate state restrictions on municipal broadband.
Supporters of the FCC’s position are frustrated at the Tennessee Legislature’s move to push back state legislation on the matter until 2016. Christopher Mitchell, director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, told Government Technology he’s “dismayed” at the development.