Tag Archives: NATOA

WHEELER ON LOCAL BROADBAND CHOICE & AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY

Chairman Wheeler

Amidst enormous applause and a final standing ovation, FCC Chairman Wheeler spoke to NATOA two weeks ago about the critical federal-local partnership that is essential for “all citizens” “to have access to robust broadband networks.” CLIC revisits this important speech and Chairman Wheeler’s focus on Lafayette’s local broadband victory to demonstrate the inherent value in local communities being able to determine their own broadband futures. Wheeler stated:

“The advantages of competition are so obvious and ingrained in the American psyche that many local communities have stepped up to facilitate it where the private sector has not. Communities are listening to the needs of their citizens and enterprises, engaging community stakeholders, and focusing on delivering competitive broadband services to respond to those needs.  As you know, two communities – Wilson, NC and Chattanooga, TN – have petitioned the FCC to preempt the laws enacted by state legislatures that prohibit them from expanding their community-owned broadband networks…. We will make our decision on those petitions on the record and on the merits. I am not going to comment on them any further.

However, I do encourage you to consider how local choice and competition can increase the broadband opportunities for your citizens. I love the story of Lafayette, Louisiana where the local incumbent fought the city’s fiber network tooth and nail, bringing multiple court challenges and triggering a local referendum on the project.  Thankfully, none of the challenges managed to prevent deployment – sixty-two percent of voters approved of the network in the referendum, and the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously sided with the city – but they did delay deployment almost three years.  When the network was finally built, the community experienced the benefits of competition, as the local cable operator decided to upgrade its network..

…. Local choice and competition are about as American as you can get.”

CLIC encourages you to get involved and let the Commission know why communities should have the right to decide their own economic and broadband futures. Take five minutes and file ex-parte comments, as we mention here.

 

NLC, NACO & NATOA to FCC Wheeler: We Support Your Efforts to Eliminate Barriers to Municipal Broadband

On Friday, July 3, 2014, the National League of Cities (NLC), the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) commended FCC Chairman Wheeler’s commitment to local internet choice, and emphasized their support for his efforts to remove barriers to municipal broadband networks:

“We write today to support your efforts to eliminate barriers to municipal broadband networks and ensure that our local communities have options to address their broadband needs.”

Underscoring to Chairman Wheeler that internet choice at the local level has never been more imperative, the Executive Directors describe how cities and counties are intimately involved in the public safety, healthcare, education, infrastructure and employment needs of their diverse citizens on a daily basis, and how having their hand on this local pulse has created “innovative partnerships,” including with private sector companies, to meet these diverse local needs.

“As such, Local governments should have the flexibility to address broadband and internet access in a way that meets the needs of the people they serve….local creativity and local authority is a viable means by which new next-generation broadband infrastructure can emerge.”

The Associations praised Chairman Wheeler for his leadership, and efforts to ensure that no entity is held back from our country’s efforts to build 21st Century broadband infrastructure:

“…our groups stand ready to assist in your efforts as you move forward with eliminating barriers to municipal broadband networks.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.