26 U.S. states ban or restrict local broadband initiatives
Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.
The report sets out a state-by-state investigation into what limitations have made their way from lobbyists pens to the law books and the picture is pretty bleak. According to the report, “over $92 million was spent in 2018 alone to protect business interests at the national and state level.”
Six states have "direct sale prohibitions on municipal broadband" – Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. For the other 20 states identified, the limitations range from ‘bureaucratic barriers’ and ‘prohibitive referendum requirements’ to population caps and excessive taxes.