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In Win for Big Cable and Big Telecom, Court Blocks FCC's Broadband Expansion Effort


In Win for Big Cable and Big Telecom, Court Blocks FCC's Broadband Expansion Effort

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) effort to expand municipal broadband.

Reuters described the decision as "a win for private-sector providers of broadband internet and a setback for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler."


i'm a broken record here, but again:

Unless, and until, we are able to completely dis-empower the corporate looting class, and end corporate rule, and dismantle the systems that have been constructed by corporate rulers to facilitate and require corporate rule...

Then we will ALWAYS be fighting losing battles to "control" or "regulate" these predatory systems.

Time is way past short to take resolute personal and organized action to free ourselves from this horrific paradigm, as now the living systems of the Earth itself are dis-integrating under the endless assault of the "owners" of the world...


it should be fairly obvious that we're going to be left with revolt as the only avenue to end this reign of corporate terror. and that's going to be hard to do (understatement, I know) given how many people will be against such a thing on moral grounds, thus providing--albeit unintentionally--support to the current power structure.

If you list all the various attempts to secure a more humane America over the last 35 years you'll find none of them have even come close to being successful. This is a cold, cruel, and relentless power we struggle against. That kind of power never goes quietly. And this one less than most.

Our window is quickly closing, if it isn't already closed. All I know is we can no longer just do what we've been doing out of habit.


Federal courts? Something about how appointments to the higher courts affect our daily life throughout this country? The OPOLY in monopoly, in duopopoly ? Not a word you say? So sue me... Take it all the way up to the Supreme Court!

Trump's Supreme Court that is... Trump appointing up to five out of nine justices in a single term. Fascism made legal? Corporate fascism?

Serf's up!


Vote out all republicans and democrats who side with these corporations...That is the only thing they will understand is a loss at the polls...Show them who they work for..,give them a lay off or tell them your fired..Quit falling for all the abortion crap and war on religion crap family planning bullshit..it is all crap...to keep you looking in the other direction while they sell you out....Politicians are not christians so quit falling for their lies and BS and vote these useless taints out...


Ignore these rulings and install your community Internet as you see fit. The ruling was not made by federal judges, it was made by ignorant lackeys, who should be disbarred, and run out of town.


We have the best judicial system that corporate money can buy.


Private. It's profit for the criminals you don't know.


Capitalist pigs claim they love the 'free market', of course free doesn't mean 'we the people' get to compete. If fact, what they really want is what they have always wanted: bottom line, more money, more power, more control. That means monopoly. Go ahead vote Clinton, won't make a difference. Vote Green, we may lose, but it will make a difference.


Corporations set out to pack the courts with the help of Republicans and Conservative Democrats. The 99% didn't stand a chance. We were too busy working for less and consuming the stuff corporations produced. We were too poor to lobby and bribe politicians to appoint liberal judges. Besides we felt it was not right. Representative government lost our democracy.

Direct democracy NOW!


Fascism, alive and well in the US.

if a community does it, then it's expressing its democratic will.

Corporations can not oppose the democratic will of a community.

WiFi is infrastructure as much as electricity and water are. The community controls its infrastructure.


Umm... ...either Trump or Clinton-- they're on the same team, you know.


The article reads, "Reuters described the decision as "a win for private-sector providers of broadband internet and a setback for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler."

It later continues, "A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the FCC's justification of its authority and struck down the agency's action."

I believe that the Congress needs to clarify the relevant laws to better reflect the express desires of the President and the FCC to make the market more competitive and also bring improved broadband access to Americans at an affordable price. After all, the preemption of states' rights is a serious matter, which usually does require explicit statutory authorization; else it can be subject to the very sort of prudent analysis by the appellate court in this situation.

You can find the full text of the appellate court decision here:

And also, please see the following article:

"The FCC, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, claimed it could preempt the laws because Congress authorizes the commission to promote telecom competition by removing barriers to investment."

"The FCC order essentially serves to re-allocate decision-making power between the states and their municipalities," judges wrote. "This is shown by the fact that no federal statute or FCC regulation requires the municipalities to expand or otherwise to act in contravention of the preempted state statutory provisions. This preemption by the FCC of the allocation of power between a state and its subdivisions requires at least a clear statement in the authorizing federal legislation. The FCC relies upon Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for the authority to preempt in this case, but that statute falls far short of such a clear statement. The preemption order must accordingly be reversed."

The article continues:

Wheeler further said that the judges' ruling "appears to halt the promise of jobs, investment and opportunity that community broadband has provided in Tennessee and North Carolina." Communities that want better broadband, he said, "should not be thwarted by the political power of those who, by protecting their monopoly, have failed to deliver acceptable service at an acceptable price." The FCC had claimed that its preemption authority "falls within the measures to promote competition in the local telecommunications market' and 'other regulating methods' of section 706(a) that Congress directed the Commission to use to remove barriers to infrastructure investment."

" The FCC argued that Congress doesn't need to 'explicitly delegate' the authority to preempt state laws, but failed to persuade judges.Tennessee argued that the FCC order violated the Constitution by "infringing on the state’s right to determine the boundaries of its political subdivisions," judges noted. Tennessee and North Carolina further argued "that even if Congress has the power to authorize such orders, it has failed to provide the necessary clear statement as required by Nixon," referring to Nixon vs. Missouri Municipal League, a Supreme Court case from 2004.


Since Reagan the privatization of the commons has been steadily enriching the wealthy elite. They haven't succeeded in destroying the Post Office, but not for lack of trying. The "free market" thieves, typified by the Koch brothers and just any billionaire that comes to mind are zealous and ruthless in efforts to limit government and eliminate regulation. Government is all that stands between the people and this tiny minority of predators with huge influence. The internet is the primary tool for the liberation of the public interest from the ideological bondage of the oligarchs. This redemption of the public interest was a large element of Bernie's socialism. In light of news like this, his craven capitulation leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.


Here is a really good example of the consequences of the corporate Democratic Party's strategy of identity politics. The 900 state legislature seats they lost and God knows how many governorships lost since in the past 8 years has created a situation where Big Business owns most state government. Here we see why Bernie Sanders hammers on building from the bottom. Let's get some people elected to state legislatures. Sign up at ourrevolution.com


Ach du lieber! Der Fascusts haf vun again!
* Vot a surprize!


I put this in as a comment in another article, but I feel it may well fit here as well.
True, but it would be a start, and a good one, too. We certainly are not going to repair the wreckage of what was once a Constitutional Republic by choosing one of the two pieces of human garbage that the Powers that Be are foisting on us, to be their sock puppet for the next four to eight years.
* For one thing, a strong showing by Jill would force the Oligarchy to pay attention, to realize that We the People are waking up, and beginning to flex our muscles. Perhaps they will realize that "We are mad as Hell and we aren't going to take it anymore!"
* Perhaps We the People will realize that "We are mad as Hell" and we don't have to take it anymore!
* With that as a start, let's quit taking it and start taking charge, electing actual representatives of the people, not the Oligarchy; seeing that legislation is passed to limit or remove all of these bought and paid for perks that have been given the 0.001% at our expense; seeing legislation that ends our endless growth of the Wehrmacht and its ever widening wars; start working toward international peace, by talking and helping, not with bayonets and drones.
* We can do it, if we buckle down and try!
* Let's make a start by starting a landslide for Jill Stein, 2016
* I think it is possible, but it is going to take a hell of a lot of work.


I think the ruling applies to local government funded broadband not to co-ops. I used to share a hi speed connection with two of my apartment neighbors and split the bill three ways. Everyone had their own virtual network and speeds were pretty good. It was a steal.


More rhetoric, lots more rhetoric should do the trick. None of the "impact court appointments" nonsense. Appointments to the federal bench, including the Suprene Court, are not important. Radical rhetoric, that will turn the tide.


At least on the same planet,,spaceman.