Report: State broadband access lacking | The Cleveland Daily Banner: The debate is now continuing over whether Tennessee should change its laws allowing municipalities, such as Chattanooga’s EPB, to extend its broadband service footprint into adjacent areas. Communication conglomerates such as AT&T and Verizon have been vigorous in their fight against such measures saying any competition between government and private companies would not be fair. There are those who argue that point, particularly noting AT&T has received hundred of millions of dollars in federal subsidies that are supposed to aid in providing broadband access to rural areas.
AT&T announced Aug. 25 it would be introducing its fiber network to “areas of Bradley County.” State Reps. Kevin Brooks and Dan Howell, who have spearheaded efforts in Nashville to change the laws, questioned why the announcement said “areas” of the county. “What areas exactly? Why not all areas of Bradley County?” Brooks asked in a statement to the Cleveland Daily Banner in response to the announcement.
The answer, Rep. Brooks:
1. Whatever areas we cherry pick because the FCC isn't enforcing its Open Internet rules classifying Internet service as a common carrier telecommunications utility requiring universal service and barring redlining.
2. Even if it did, we couldn't afford to comply and would have to go bankrupt.