Municipal Networks in jeopardy after vote in Congress: Legislators approve HR 5016 Blackburn amendment

According to GovTrack, the Blackburn Amendment passed with 56 percent of the votes. What does that mean?

Here’s the view from Congressman Marsha Blackburn’s office

Congressman Marsha Blackburn today secured an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services Appropriations Bill that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from trampling on the rights of states when it comes to municipal broadband. Blackburn’s amendment was approved with a vote of 223-200. Municipal broadband projects have had a mixed bag of results.

There have been some successes and there have also been some spectacular failures that have left taxpayers on the hook. Blackburn’s amendment prohibits any taxpayer funds from being used by the FCC to pre-empt state municipal broadband laws.

And here’s the view from Institute for Local Self Reliance (posted clearly before today’s vote)…

Last night, GOP Representative Marsha Blackburn, introduced an amendment intended to destroy local authority for telecommunications investment by severely limiting FCC funding. The amendment, introduced during debate on H.R. 5016, targets 20 states, many with state-erected barriers already in place and/or municipal networks already serving local communities.

The vote was postponed but is expected today (Wednesday) at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET. …

through publicly owned infrastructure or through the private market. Rep Blackburn and those that support this amendment do not trust local communities to make the best choices for themselves. The FCC wants to ensure state legislatures do not impose their will as influenced by the telecommunications lobby. Call your Rep!

This will have an impact on Minnesota. We do have legislation in place that is a potential barrier to municipal networks.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

2 thoughts on “Municipal Networks in jeopardy after vote in Congress: Legislators approve HR 5016 Blackburn amendment

  1. We do:
    Nay D Walz, Timothy MN 1st
    Yea R Kline, John MN 2nd
    Yea R Paulsen, Erik MN 3rd
    Nay D McCollum, Betty MN 4th
    Nay D Ellison, Keith MN 5th
    Yea R Bachmann, Michele MN 6th
    Yea D Peterson, Collin MN 7th
    Nay D Nolan, Richard

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