Netflix Backs FCC Preemption of State Broadband Laws

Says FCC Needs Grant Petitions Of Wilson, N.C., Chattanooga
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Netflix has weighed in favor of the FCC granting the requests of the cities of Wilson, N.C, and Chatanooga, Tenn., that the commission preempt state laws limiting the buildout of municipal broadband networks.

In a filing at the commission this week, Netflix said: "When the Commission encounters barriers to broadband investment or deployment, it is required to remove them promptly. For example, the City of Wilson, North Carolina, and the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee have asked the Commission to preempt state laws that prevent them from extending gigabit broadband networks to unserved and underserved households."

Pointing to the social and economic opportunities that it says would come with the service, Netflix said the FCC should act "promptly" to remove barriers to that buildout.

Netflix made the same point in its filing on the FCC's Sec. 706 report, which seeks input on the definition of advanced telecommunications and its timely deployment to all Americans, which the FCC is directed by Congress to advance and empowered to regulate to make sure it happens.

Netflix argues that state laws impeding municipal build-outs are an impediment to timely deployment of advanced services, which it argues means service at speeds that reflect current reality, like the 25 Mbps Chairman Tom Wheeler has said is the new "table stakes" for 21st Century broadband.