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Battle Over Govt-Run Internet Heats Up at FCC

"If Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to stop states from blocking city-run broadband, he'll likely have to override Republican opposition to do it.

In a speech Wednesday, a top Republican FCC aide argued that the agency lacks the authority to overturn state laws on the issue. More than 20 states, at the behest of cable and telecom industry lobbyists, have restricted the ability of cities to build their own broadband networks.

Matthew Berry, the chief of staff to Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, argued that cities and towns are just "appendages" of state governments. States are free to restrict local policymaking as they see fit, Berry argued.

He acknowledged that the federal government can preempt state laws, but only through a "clear statement" from Congress. Without that congressional authorization, the FCC can't take action, Berry said........"

http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/the-battle-over-governme...