Obama calls for competition among broadband providers

15 January 2015 |


US president Barack Obama has announced an initiative to oppose pre-emptive state laws that restrict the expansion of city-owned broadband networks.


During a speech in Iowa, Obama called for an end to state laws that thwart competition among broadband service companies, while announcing a new loan programme for internet providers in rural areas to invest in underserved areas.  

"In too many places across America, some big companies are doing everything they can to keep out competitors," Obama said. "Today in 19 states we've got laws on the books that stamp out competition, and make it really difficult for communities to provide their own broadband the way you guys are,” he said on Wednesday January 14 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a city with its own community broadband network.

In a letter to the FCC, his administration called for the independent regulator to address state laws that have restricted cities from building their own municipal internet services. 

In November, Obama urged the FCC to adopt powers to enforce net-neutrality

The US president’s comments will serve as a preview of initiatives ahead of his annual State of the Union address next Tuesday.

Capacity's Metro Connect USA 2015 event takes place on 27-28 January in Miami.