Court rules that FCC can't force states to repeal laws banning municipal ISPs


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/10/court-rules-that-fcc-cant-fo.html


#2

Hurray! Now that we’ve gotten Big Government out of the State’s Rights duty to regulate cities, we can go back to not having the broadband that Monopolies are under no pressure to provide!


#3

This is why downticket elections MATTER, folks! A lot of the dinkuses who made these laws are very vulnerable to people voting them out of office if those people show up to vote! (Here’s a helpful list for this election’s national circus, but your state has some, too!)


#4

It’s disappointing but not surprising. I think it would be pretty hard to make the case that municipal telecoms are an interstate commerce issue.

Yes and triple yes. I just wish someone could sit the Democratic Party in front of “Schoolhouse Rock” and remind them that there are other government offices besides President, and that in aggregate, those other offices matter a great deal more.


#5

Really? Are you my neighbor, here in Ohio?

Also, the court is really defending the state government’s right to be bought by monopolists. There is no other benefit to banning municipal ISP. None.

(Full disclosure: I used to live in Philadelphia, where working public WiFi was turned off at the behest of Comcast. City government profited handsomely, I hear.)


#6

The FTC does have jurisdiction over our communications and the ways that ISPs interoperate. But whether or not you have access to an ISP at all is not an interstate issue, until it is decided that Americans have a right to access. Which we should! But we do not.

My parents have DSL that is basically dial-up quality, and from what I have managed to deduce, would not be offered even that should they go back to their provider today and try to order it.


#7

There must be a good reason for how the Post Office is not trying to sell me internet service.

But I can’t think of what it is.


#8

They’re just making their states uncompetitive in the global market for jobs and industry. More economic power to the progressive states…


#9

I guess this is what happens when your babysitter is a dingo. Even if it doesn’t eat the baby, when push comes to shove it’s still not the most effective guard dog.


#10

I have see articles suggesting that some of the Bernie supporters understand this.


#11

IIRC, Austin was supposed to put in a fiber network through which they could read the electric meters (the utility company is, or was, city-owned). A major benefit of this would have been that the entire city would be wired with broadband. Then, suddenly, the idea just seemed to disappear…


#12

Hmm…I wonder whether that was really a secret plan to get the electric utility into the broadband business. Because I can’t imagine that electric billing requires that much bandwitdth. I am reminded of a a company that built freight tunnels in Chicago by getting a license for a phone network. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tunnel_Company


#13

I think you’re right about it being more than enough bandwidth, but there wasn’t anything secret about their plan. What was secret, was why it dropped for the local paper all of the sudden. To my knowledge it came to nothing.

In the meantime they kept tearing up the streets to put in fiber, and no one would coordinate with each other. E.g. the fiber install on one street coincided with re-pavement of another street that I would’ve taken as a detour.

(Then I moved away, anyway.)

I can never find anything about the old plan in archived news, but then the Statesman keeps their old stuff behind a paywall anyway. Only thing I can see along these lines is that the city changed to “smart meters” (i.e. cellular).


#14

Nothing must infringe on a corporation’s right, at its discretion, to gouge or deprive the citizenry!


#15

Because the people efficiently providing for themselves through the vehicle of government is inherently evil.


#16

Could just be the dot com-bust. There was plenty of “dark fiber” laid in the late 90s…


#17

I should’ve clarified that the torn-up streets was a completely separate effort (by Qwest or XO or whoever) – but you’re right, the end result was probably a lot of dark fiber. What I meant was that there’d been all this talk on the city’s part, and all this physical effort on some company’s part, and neither of their plans amounted to anything (at least, not for a long while).


#18

If they won’t let them set up fiber networks, just go over their heads and set up an RFC1149 (IPoAC) network.


#19

I was obviously being unclear. I meant that perhaps the utility company dropped the plan for fiber because with the excess fiber around, it looked unprofitable.


#20

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