Municipal Broadband Bill Teed Up in Missouri

Legislation would undermine muny broadband efforts, advocates say
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A bill has been introduced in the Missouri state legislature that would prevent cities and communities from overbuilding existing broadband providers, according to the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), which advocates for municipal broadband.  

The bill would invalidate any local laws that allowed for the provision of competitive service unless that service met a number of criteria, including that there was no competitive privately-offered service and that the laws allowing for municipal broadband were adopted after citizens voted on them in a ballot initiative and only after a study of the financial implications of the network was made public at least 90 days before that vote.  

Some cable operators have backed state preemption, arguing that cities are overbuilding existing service and that some of those overbuilds fail, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.

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