The role of municipally-owned and operated broadband networks in the United States has been the subject of considerable debate. Among some stakeholders, there is increasing enthusiasm around the potential for government-owned broadband networks (GONs) to serve as an engine for municipalities to jump-start economic development. When GONs fail, however, the costs are borne by taxpayers. Earlier this year, the FCC threw its hat into the ring by moving aggressively to preempt certain provisions of Tennessee and North Carolina law that restrict municipal provision of broadband service. In this teleforum, our experts assessed the need for GONs, addressed the competition policy and regulatory issues associated with these projects, and explored whether the FCC’s move to preempt the states will survive judicial appeal.
- Charles M. Davidson, Director, Advanced Communications Law and Policy Institute, New York Law School
- Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation
- Christopher Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities
- Moderator: Rachael M. Bender, Senior Policy Director, Mobile Future