FierceTelecom - February 15, 2017
Telco, cable-backed Missouri bill could limit municipal broadband growth, opposition group says
Written by Sean Buckley
A new broadband battle is brewing in Missouri as the state’s largest telcos and cable operators are backing a new bill to limit municipal broadband.
The new bill, SB 186, which was introduced by Senator Ed Emery, R-Lamar, seeks to limit the power of municipalities to provide competition to entrenched incumbent service providers.
SB 186, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, imposes restrictions on local governments to provide retail and wholesale bandwidth services.
“This legislation is trying to cut off communities at every turn by limiting any sort of ‘competitive service,’ whether it comes from public broadband infrastructure investment or a public-private partnership” said Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in a statement. “Missouri should be encouraging investment and local Internet choice, not working with monopoly lobbyists to prevent it.”