Municipal broadband fans Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Tuesday pushed the FCC to preempt state laws limiting municipal infrastructure buildouts, citing a letter from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler on the subject.
"I strongly encourage him and the FCC to take quick and decisive action to lift restrictions that limit or prevent communities from addressing their own broadband needs," said Doyle in a joint statement with the senator. "I encourage the Commission to use its authority to ensure municipalities have the power to make decisions about their broadband infrastructure," echoed Markey.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has signaled he thinks the FCC has the authority and responsibility to step in where states are blocking municipal broadband, arguing that those state laws are the result of lobbying by incumbents trying to prevent competition — Wheeler is himself a former cable lobbyist as head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.