Legislation on municipal broadband service won’t “break the Internet” like Kim Kardashian’s risqué photo spread in Paper magazine. But a new federal proposal that permits local governments to create or expand their own high-speed networks is a serious eye-opener and potential game-changer in the telecommunications world, according to some experts.
S. 240, the Community Broadband Act, introduced last month by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, gives cities and counties the right to become Internet service providers or build out existing services in their regions. And while partisan politics may doom the measure, advocates for local control believe the effort is already a victory because of the publicity the issue has received.
Craig Settles, a national broadband analyst, called Booker’s bill “necessary pressure” and said the political weight behind it could make state restrictions on community broadband networks less of a factor in the future.