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On March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released the text of its order preempting provisions of North Carolina and Tennessee law that allow municipalities to provide broadband service but otherwise limit the geographic area they may serve and impose other conditions on their operations. As previously explained in our summary of the Commission’s press release and statements announcing the decision, the Commission relied on Section 706 of the Communications Act in holding that once a state authorizes municipalities to provide broadband, the state cannot limit their service areas.

Although the decision is technically limited to preemption of the challenged laws in these two states, the Commission’s broad analysis calls into question similar or related provisions in 17 other states.

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