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Court Deciding Municipal Broadband Expansion

Posted at 4:05 PM, Mar 17, 2016

A federal appeals court has been deciding whether to overturn a Federal Communications Commission ruling allowing city-owned broadband services to expand into areas overlooked by commercial providers.

Tennessee and North Carolina both previously passed laws preventing the expansion of super-fast Internet service in their cities of Chattanooga and Wilson to surrounding areas. The FCC last year voted to override those laws.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday heard an appeal by the two states. In oral arguments posted on the court's website, attorneys for Tennessee and North Carolina argued the FCC was unlawfully inserting itself between the states and their subdivisions.

An attorney for the FCC argued the states have been trying to regulate competition, which has been the responsibility of the federal agency.