Statement by CLIC CEO, Joanne Hovis

On July 24, 2014, the City of Wilson, NC and the Electric Power Board in Chattanooga, TN petitioned the FCC with requests to remove the legislative barriers to broadband investment and competition in their states. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has courageously gone on the record supporting all options that catalyze broadband competition including removing state barriers to community-owned networks. This is an historical time for our country, and the window of this opportunity is open now.

We need you to get involved. We need you to file comments at the FCC.  Having access to reliable modern internet service is as important as having electricity 100 years ago. The FCC needs to hear from local communities, businesses, citizens, students, children, seniors and veterans on why your local communities need to be unharnessed from the artificial strait jackets of these state laws, so that our communities can act in the best interest of their local businesses and residents, to take whatever actions are needed based on local resources so that we all have access to 21st century broadband infrastructure.

If your community has developed an advanced broadband network or entered into a public-private partnership to acquire such a network, we hope that you will share with the FCC how your community, your business, family members, veterans, children, grandparents, teachers, and others have benefited because your community was not limited by a state barrier to public investment or competition. If your community is subject to such a barrier, please tell the FCC, in as much detail as possible, how this has held back your businesses, institutions, and residents.

If you are an individual, you might prefer to use the on-line FCC “EXPRESS” file form, found with instructions we have created on how to file and where to find the form here.

For those with longer comments, use  the FCC’s “EXPERT” form. We have posted sample comments here to help stimulate your thoughts and for you to customize with your local stories and insights.  Filing instructions on how to use, and where to find the EXPERT form is on page 3 here.

Comments are due August 29th. Reply comments are due September 29.

Petitions can be found at the following links:

City of Wilson Petition for Removal of State Barriers and Exhibits WC-14-115

Electric Power Board, Chattanooga, TN Petition for Removal of State Barriers WC 14-116

Electric Power Board, Chattanooga, TN Petition Exhibits