Thank to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 110 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Will Aycock of Wilson and Danna Bailey of Chattanooga. Listen to this episode here.
Danna Bailey: When we have neighbors outside of our service territory who are specifically asking us to come and serve them, we want to be able to respond to that in a positive way.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hello, and welcome to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This is Lisa Gonzalez.
Earlier this month, the communities of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina -- both with municipal networks -- filed petitions with the FCC. Both communities requested the agency to use its authority to preempt state laws. Those laws, put in place through lobbying efforts from big-name incumbents, prevent either network from serving their neighbors. For some time now, neighboring communities have approached Wilson and Chattanooga, requesting that they expand their networks to serve their neighbors. Existing state laws preclude Greenlight, in Wilson, and Chattanooga's Electric Power Board from serving beyond strict geographic borders. In recent months, Chairman Wheeler has publicly announced that the FCC will do all it can to encourage expansion of broadband networks. He specifically pointed to the FCC's authority in Section 706, to preempt such state laws, that do nothing to encourage deployment, and only serve to protect large corporate provider interests. On July 28th, the FCC established a schedule in which it intends to take comments on both petitions. Open comments are due August 29th. Reply comments are due September 29th. We encourage every American who wants ubiquitous connectivity to file comments in support of the Wilson and Chattanooga petitions. Federal preemption of these anti-muni laws will be a significant victory toward restoring local telecommunications authority.
In this podcast, Chris and I spend some time discussing the petitions, the circumstances in Wilson and Chattanooga, and what you can do to share your opinion with the FCC.
As a bonus, Chris touched base with Danna Bailey, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chattanooga's EPB, and Will Aycock, General Manager of Greenlight in...Read more