Noah J Nelson on Monday, Jul. 21st
Access to the Internet is practically seen as a basic human right amongst millennials, that’s one reason why the Federal Communications Commission is having to weed through a million comments in the wake of the political battle over Net Neutrality.
While that knife fight was going on a quieter Congressional mugging was taking place in the alley net door. In this case, as dug up by Motherboard’s Jason Koebler, the FCC are the good guys looking out for the interests of communities who are being held back by their home states.
More than 20 states have laws on the books preventing local communities from building municipal fiber networks—the FCC recently said it would help local communities preempt those laws, giving power back to small towns who know what they want better than anyone in the statehouse.
But the Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s amendment, which nearly all House Republicans voted in favor of, would make the FCC’s move illegal.
The real reason for the seemingly hypocritical opposition to the FCC’s decision is that (as you might guess) the politicians backing the legislation are in the pocket of big telecom, and those deep-pocketed companies don’t want to have to compete with anyone.
While not as link-bait worthy as the battle over Net Neutrality this political fight is a significant one. Just who should be controlling access to the Internet? Should local governments have the right to provide basic Internet services to their citizens if that’s what the citizens want?