Today Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced legislation banning state laws that prohibit local governments from creating their own broadband networks. Public Knowledge commends Sen. Booker for developing the Community Broadband Act, which returns decision-making power to Americans seeking to improve their internet connection even when their Internet Service Providers refuse to do so.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, VP of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“We are grateful that Senator Booker and others are taking a strong lead promoting the ability for localities to choose their own destiny by creating economic development projects for high-speed broadband. These decisions belong at the local level, and this bill ensures that communities are empowered to make their own decisions about their own tax dollars, and assume their own risk in developing projects.
“Many local officials turn to public-private broadband partnerships or full public projects as a last resort when incumbent private providers cannot or will not deploy high-speed networks in their communities. This bill recognizes the need to ensure that private broadband providers have a chance to offer services before millions are invested by communities. The bill also promotes transparent public decision-making before these choices are finalized.
“Broadband deployment is an expensive endeavor, and local voters deserve to know the risks and benefits of projects before their communities commit to them. Most importantly, they deserve the power to choose how to invest in their own economic development.”
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