Why Does Rep. Marsha Blackburn Want To Block You From Having Competitive Broadband?
from the speak-up-now dept
There were rumors yesterday of a few ridiculous and extreme attempts by some in Congress to attach some anti-net neutrality amendments to the big Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. And while the most ridiculous proposal failed to appear, instead, it does appear that Rep. Marsha Blackburn is pushing an amendment to block the FCC from preempting laws that ban municipal broadband. The big cable companies have fought municipal broadband for ages because they hate competition. Cable and telco lobbyists have succeeded in getting such laws passed in a number of cities and states, with some politicians directly admitting that the bills were written by those lobbyists. And while there have been some disasters in munibroadband efforts, there have also been some amazing successes, providing truly competitive broadband that also helped force competitors to up their game.
That’s why we were happy to see FCC chair Tom Wheeler make it clear that he was willing to use the FCC’s powers to preempt laws blocking competitive broadband. This would be a very good use of the FCC’s power to encourage real competition and innovation. Blackburn’s amendment is all about stopping that, and making sure that your broadband is as expensive as possible, with no real innovation or competition on the way. Blackburn, of course, is also the politician who constantly screams about how terrible it would be to “regulate the internet” when it comes to net neutrality, but seems to have no qualms at all “regulating the internet” when it comes to other things, like SOPA (she was one of its main supporters). She’s also claimed that “fair use” and “transparency” are just buzz words and that we need much stricter intellectual property enforcement.
But when it comes to actually making sure you have a competitive broadband market? She’s totally against that. You would think, given that she’s from Tennessee, that she’d be aware of the massive success of muni fiber over in Chattanooga. It’s not her district, but it’s not too far away. Perhaps she should take a visit and see if the residents there would support her stomping out competition and fast broadband.