Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 12:55am
[SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted Hearn]
Congress is debating whether to allow local governments to provide high-speed data access in competitive markets already served by cable and phone companies. Dozens of communities around the country are promoting the deployment of broadband -- some through partnerships with private companies and some through ownership of their own facilities with at least implicit taxpayer support. The fate of municipal broadband service is likely to play out in the ongoing effort to overhaul the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is hoping his panel will approve a bill next month.