Press

WASHINGTON – President Obama is expected to call for a nationalization of broadband Internet, stripping away the rights of states to set their own policies tailored to their unique networks and access areas. U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement this morning ahead of President Obama’s scheduled remarks:

“Each day we see more policies coming out of this White House that attempt to wield greater power and control for the federal government. This afternoon, we will see the president parachute into Iowa and tout a new federal takeover of state laws governing broadband and the Internet.

“Nebraska already has laws on the books that govern broadband access and during my time in the Nebraska Legislature we worked diligently on crafting prudent policies that are having a positive impact across our state. Nebraskans should have a say in this debate and I would hope President Obama would want to hear their views. These Washington-centric solutions set a dangerous precedent and have real impacts on local communities and businesses.”

This afternoon, President Obama is expected to announce his plan to nationalize the internet and override state laws governing broadband.  On June 5, 2014, Senator Deb Fischer led a letter with 10 of her colleagues to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler opposing the federal government’s attempt to usurp state laws governing community broadband.

In a letter to Senator Fischer, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler admitted that “federal preemption is not a step to be taken lightly and must be done only after careful consideration of all legal and policy issues.”  Chairman Wheeler also stated last year that, “the experience with community broadband is mixed, that there have been both successes and failures.”  The FCC’s 2010 National Broadband Plan even acknowledged that “Municipal broadband has risks.  Municipally financed service may discourage investment by private companies.”

Last year, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Council of State Governments, and a wide range of taxpayer protection organizations echoed Senator Fischer’s view that the FCC should not have unfettered authority to preempt state sovereignty over municipal broadband. 

National Journal reported this morning on the president’s plan:

“President Obama will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Wednesday to tout the ability of local governments to provide high-speed Internet to their residents. And he will urge the Federal Communications Commission to strike down state laws around the country that restrict the ability of cities to build their own broadband networks.”

Click Here to read Senator Fischer’s joint letter
from June 5, 2014 to FCC Chairman Wheeler.