John Kerry has joined Senators Frank Lautenberg and John McCain’s effort to ensure that communities across the country have equal access to developing broadband internet technologies.
The Community Broadband Act, which Kerry is co-sponsoring, was introduced to ensure that municipal governments have the right to provide high-speed Internet service to their citizens. Many communities in the U.S. are underserved or have no service at all.
“We have to let cities and towns provide their own internet service, especially in rural areas or low-income areas that aren’t currently being served,” said Senator Kerry. “Hurricane Katrina reminds us how important it is to encourage and develop new communications systems in all our communities. One thing is very clear, and that is the desperate need to beef up our existing communications capabilities to keep every community in America connected and safe.”
“Not only is this bill good for our national security, it is also good for our nation’s long-term competitiveness and economic success,” Kerry added. “We need to have a communications system that promotes American innovation and our national and economic security, and this bill will help ensure this happens. I am happy to have joined Senators Lautenberg and McCain in this important effort.”
The Community Broadband Act of 2005:
– Ensures that no State prevents a municipality from offering high-speed internet access to its citizens if the municipality so chooses;
– Ensures that when a municipality is in the position of regulator or competitor, it does not abuse such authority. For example, the municipality could not enact a three percent franchise fee on itself, but a five percent franchise on a competitor; and
– Ensures that a municipality complies with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and any other federal or state telecommunications laws.