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Booker, Senators Introduce Community Broadband Act

Bill aims to improve internet access in underserved communities

March 28, 2017
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Angus King (I-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced the Community Broadband Act to preserve and protect the rights of cities and localities to build municipal broadband networks.  Municipal broadband can often provide an affordable, reliable option for rural and low-income communities that face persistent barriers to high-speed internet access.

“Internet access is an economic necessity in today's economy, but too many communities lack reliable access,” Senator Booker said. “I saw this problem first-hand as mayor of Newark. In places where reliable, high-speed internet access is lacking, some municipalities have bridged the gap by investing in and offering broadband internet to their residents. But barriers to municipal broadband networks remain. Our bill will help remove these barriers by giving cities the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their residents.”

Specifically, the Community Broadband Act will amend the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to ban any state, local, or tribal statute or regulation that prohibits cities from providing high-speed internet.

Full text of the Community Broadband Act can be viewed here.