In a position piece released in October, Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for local authority:
“Three-quarters of US households have at most one option for purchasing the Internet service families now depend on for shopping, streaming, and doing homework. When alternatives do emerge, however, as they have in places like Kansas City, prices go down and speeds go up……Closing these loopholes and protecting other standards of free and fair competition—like enforcing strong net neutrality rules and preempting state laws that unfairly protect incumbent businesses—will keep more money in consumers’ wallets, enable startups to challenge the status quo, and allow small businesses to thrive.”
The effort to stop state laws that limit local choice on broadband initiatives requires more political leaders to take a stand like the one Mrs. Clinton takes here against local monopoly power in favor of fair competition. Voters must become better informed about the insidious impact of centralized corporate power on their local freedom and demand that elected officials embrace policies to decentralize power.
As the Federal Communications Commission has made clear, broadband access is crucial to addressing quality of life issues including economic development, government performance, education, medical care, public safety, energy & environmental innovation, and civic engagement. Regardless of party affiliation, candidate platforms must acknowledge that fast, affordable, reliable Internet access for all is one of the biggest challenges facing communities around the nation.