• GOP plan for broadband “competition” would ban city-run networks across US

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    House Republicans have unveiled their plan for "boosting" broadband connectivity and competition, and one of the key planks is prohibiting states and cities from building their own networks. The proposal to ban new public networks was included in the "Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda" announced Tuesday by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio), the top Republicans on the House Commerce Committee and Subcommittee for Communications and Technology, respectively.

    Republicans call it the CONNECT Act, for "Communities Overregulating Networks Need Economic Competition Today." The bill "would promote competition by limiting government-run broadband networks throughout the country and encouraging private investment," the Commerce Committee Republicans said in their announcement, without explaining how limiting the number of broadband networks would increase competition. Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) is the lead sponsor.

    The bill itself says that "a State or political subdivision thereof may not provide or offer for sale to the public, a telecommunications provider, or to a commercial provider of broadband Internet access service, retail or wholesale broadband Internet access service."
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