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Local Cable and Broadband Regulation

Two electrical workers install a telecommunication pole

California is the most recent state to vote for open access internet, despite the Federal Trade Commission’s repeal earlier this year. According to The New York Times, 34 states (and the District of Columbia) have introduced some kind of open internet legislation. Many people are unaware that the issues of open access internet and net neutrality can be made at the local and state level. By simply using Agenda Discovery’s software, you can stay up-to-date on your city council meeting schedule and be included in the conversations about internet access and pricing. 

Here’s what you need to know about local cable and broadband regulation:

Table of Contents

How City Regulations Impact The Broadband Options That Are Available to You 

Many people are surprised to learn that the broadband internet that is available to them isn’t part of some untouchable master plan made between the federal government and internet service provider corporations. Your broadband options are directly impacted by city regulations and your local government. 

It’s a fact that telecommunications companies need physical infrastructures, like wires and signal towers to operate. Many of which are shared with the utility companies that operate in your area. So providers must negotiate with local governments and local utility companies to ask if they are allowed to set-up what they need to be operational in a given jurisdiction. 

As you might have guessed, local utility companies often try to get as much from the internet company as they can before allowing them to set-up-shop. It’s at this level of bargaining that your options for internet access, and how much it will cost you, are ultimately decided upon.


Government Regulations And How You’re Charged for Internet 

Areas with more internet providers correlate to higher competition and ultimately means the consumer (you) will pay premium prices for the internet you use. While some cities have had success choosing only one internet provider for the entire city, not only for the wallets of the city’s residents but for the city’s growth towards a consolidated “smart’: infrastructure, some ethical grey area emerges. 

Allowing only one internet service for a city paves the way for an industry monopoly. It also doesn’t allow people the ability to choose, and in a way, controls what they have access to. Politicians could also use internet service provider options as leverage during elections. This then means that corporations and politicians would be working hand-in-hand in plain sight to sway legislation. This, as you likely know, opens the door for a whole mess of scary possibilities that take more control from people, and weakens the power of the individual vote. But luckily, legislative tracking makes it easy to stay on top of local cable and broadband regulation.


Legislative Tracking: The Idea of Open Access 

But what if any service provider could “just work” anywhere? Making all options available to anyone wherever they lived, and all at competitive prices? This is ultimately the idea of open access internet. Although federal government regulations repealed the idea of open access internet and net neutrality earlier this year, the issue can still be tackled at a state legislative level.

Earlier this year the repeal of net neutrality made headlines across the world. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fought against the idea that all internet service providers must be treated equally. The FCC claimed that not discriminating or charging a company based on factors like users, content, or platform hurt the telecommunications industry’s infrastructure. A claim that was proven to be a false statement by a recent university study on the impact of net neutrality and open access internet.


Let Agenda Discovery Help! 

It can be difficult to keep track of every meeting on the city council calendar. It can be even more time consuming to break down what will be discussed in every city council agenda. That’s why our Agenda Discovery software was made. Our technology creates a government agenda alert every time a topic of interest is added to your local government’s schedule.
Have questions? Want to see how our platform can work for you? Request a demo here!


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