Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

With Minnesota repeal, number of states restricting public broadband falls to 16.



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... Minnesota this week eliminated two laws that made it harder for cities and towns to build their own broadband networks. The state-imposed restrictions were repealed in an omnibus commerce policy bill signed on Tuesday by Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat.

Minnesota was previously one of about 20 states that imposed significant restrictions on municipal broadband. The number can differ depending on who's counting because of disagreements over what counts as a significant restriction. But the list has gotten smaller in recent years because states including Arkansas, Colorado, and Washington repealed laws that hindered municipal broadband.

The Minnesota bill enacted this week struck down a requirement that municipal telecommunications networks be approved in an election with 65 percent of the vote. The law is over a century old, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community Broadband Network Initiative wrote yesterday.

"Though intended to regulate telephone service, the way the law had been interpreted after the invention of the Internet was to lump broadband in with telephone service thereby imposing that super-majority threshold to the building of broadband networks," the broadband advocacy group said.

The Minnesota omnibus bill also changed a law that let municipalities build broadband networks, but only if no private providers offer service or will offer service "in the reasonably foreseeable future." That restriction had been in effect since at least the year 2000.

The caveat that prevented municipalities from competing against private providers was eliminated from the law when this week's omnibus bill was passed. As a result, the law now lets cities and towns "improve, construct, extend, and maintain facilities for Internet access and other communications purposes" even if private ISPs already offer service.

"States are dropping misguided barriers" ...

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-28 02:18 AM | Reply

They're still restricting it here.

My local utility board is in the buildout stage anyway. They can only offer service where they have electricity service. I'll switch as soon as they give me a satisfactory answer on static IPs, I've got to have some. No, IPv6 isn't good enough yet, I need real IPv4 addresses.

#2 | Posted by DarkVader at 2024-05-28 08:43 PM | Reply

Oh, and Comcrap is in full pants-wetting mode. They just bumped my speed up pretty significantly, 500 to 800 down, 100 to 200 up. Still not the gigabit symmetrical that the utility board is offering for less money.

Socialism works!

#3 | Posted by DarkVader at 2024-05-28 08:45 PM | Reply

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