FCC commissioner still sees free speech threat in community broadband

An FCC commissioner is continuing to claim, sans any credible evidence, that the 750 towns building their own broadband networks pose a threat to free speech. Government broadband face a greater burden under the First Amendment for protecting free speech so should pass on trying to censor hate speech. And since governments are empowered by voters, they are more accountable than Comcast or AT&T. (techdirt, December 17, 2018, by Karl Bode)

The commissioner, Michael O’Reilly, made his allegations in a speech on October 24 and was immediately skewered by experts in the field. One said, “There’s certainly no record of any local governments censoring in the way that he suggests they either are or could.” Community broadband is filling a need for reliable service that private companies have been unwilling or unable to provide. (Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2018, by Michael Hiltzik)

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