Even as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other Pay TV giants wait for a vote on ‘net neutrality’ at FCC Feb monthly meet; there appears that there is more on the plate for FCC to evaluate.
The telecom regulatory body is hard pressed to evaluate state laws for setting up of Municipal Broadband networks, much like utility services. The regulatory action is required following twin petitions from municipalities of Chattnooga, Tenn. and Wilson N.C. highlighting the obstacles to build local internet network that compete with national commercial carriers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.
Further, President Obama in a letter has requested FCC to ‘relook’ state laws that do not offer a fair playing ground for local municipalities to build broadband connectivity. The letter reiterates the President commending Cedar Falls Utilities, Iowa on January 14, 2015 for building their private internet network that boasts of high speed connectivity. The network operates on the same business model as other utilities such as electricity.
President Obama was quoted as saying that, if the community needs to develop the facility, then the municipalities should be able to it, without restrictions.
Hence, FCC is most likely to table regulations which would allow municipalities of rural and small-towns to set up network connectivity at competitive prices. The meeting which is scheduled for Feb 26 will be a watershed day for another important telecom regulation – ‘net neutrality.’
Pay TV channel and ISP service providers wait for the final word by FCC on Net neutrality by Feb 26 the new vote for municipal broadband does give room for better connectivity.
On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler commented that currently the organization was preparing to respond to current complaints by Chattanooga, Tenn and Wilson, N.C. However, there is no exact time frame to respond to the application from the regulatory body.