Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to ease the way for cities to become Internet service providers. So-called municipal broadband is already a reality in a few towns, often providing Internet access and faster service to rural communities that cable companies don’t serve.
The cable and telecommunications industry have long lobbied against city-run broadband, arguing that taxpayer money should not fund potential competitors to private companies.
Private companies afraid of competition? Isn’t that what privatizing is all about?
The telecom companies have what may seem like an unlikely ally: states. Roughly 20 states have restrictions against municipal broadband.
And the attorneys general in North Carolina and Tennessee have recently filed lawsuits in an attempt to overrule the FCC and block towns in these states from expanding publicly funded Internet service…
As the New York Times detailed last year, state attorneys general have become a major target of corporate lobbyists and contributors including AT&T, Comcast and T-Mobile…
And in the insurance industry, Unum, a corporation that is currently sleeping with the attorney general in Maine.