In Blow to Local Authority, Sixth Circuit Court Reverses FCC Action on Municipal Broadband

WASHINGTON — Following the decision issued today by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reverses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 action in support of local broadband projects, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO & Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony released this statement:

"The decision by the Sixth Circuit to reverse the FCC's decision on municipal broadband is an outrageous blow to local leadership in connectivity. At a time when the need for investment in broadband infrastructure has become greater than ever, state laws preempting local decision making and planning around broadband, as we've seen in Tennessee and North Carolina, serve only to widen the digital divide.

"City leaders — representing the most trusted level of government — know that high-speed Internet is not a luxury, but a necessity to bring jobs, quality healthcare and education to their residents. The cities of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, N.C., have thoughtfully invested in the broadband infrastructure that their communities want and need, and the FCC has championed these and other municipal efforts.

"Municipal broadband networks are critical tools that local leaders should have access to as they work to make their cities competitive in a 21st century economy. Cities need every tool in that toolbox to increase broadband access and adoption for the students, families and businesses in their communities."


The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.