On the eve of the State of the Union Address last Tuesday, President Barack Obama had called on the Federal Communications Commission to challenge the state laws that block the establishment of municipal broadband networks so that communities are ensured of an Internet service that provides high-speed connections. He had also pledged the protection of a free and open Internet as well as extending it for everyone to benefit from.
Apparently, out of the good will of his heart, the President wants everyone to enjoy the Internet and its blessings. With the advancements in today’s technology, it still comes as a shock that not everyone has access to a fast Internet connection.
Almost all of society is dependent on the Internet. Most employees need it for their work. Some people use them for information and research while others use them for entertainment and leisure such as watching TV shows, films or cartoons such as My Little Pony or buy products such as clothing, pajamas and hoodies of the same shows through online retail stores.
The Internet can be used for all kinds of activities and it has become an important necessity in the lives of many people that is why it is only right that people are allowed access to an affordable and high-speed Internet service. That is probably what the President wants.
Unfortunately, even with President Obama’s blessing, many cities are still not allowed to provide this kind of service. This is because that the laws and legislations in many different states make it difficult for this type of service to be established. Examples for these are legislations concerning profitability or even population. Sometimes the laws being imposed in a municipality restricts the provision of such broadband carriers if the population exceeds a certain number.
It is still a question as to how Obama could get around the restrictions for expansion. Through Section 706 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996, this charges the FCC to deploy advanced telecommunications capability to the American citizens on a favorable and useful time with a good and valid reason. It entails that communities could play a role in the expansion of broadband access if private investments fail in providing an adequate broadband infrastructure.
Possibly the biggest obstacle for this plan is that Republicans would likely oppose the plan and that the FCC does not have the authority to take action against such legislations.