Tennessee lawmakers delay municipal broadband bill for year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers won’t vote this year on a bill seeking to allow municipal broadband to be offered outside of electric utilities’ service areas.

Republican Sen. Janice Bowling of Tullahoma said Wednesday that while support for the measure is growing, there still aren’t enough votes to pass the proposal this year.

The measure is opposed by telecom companies like AT&T that see taxpayer-funded broadband as unfair competition.

The failure of the state Legislature to address the issue led Chattanooga to ask the Federal Communications Commission to override state laws preventing the city’s super-fast Internet to be offered in outlying areas.

The FCC agreed in a ruling last month, but the state’s attorney general has filed a legal challenge in 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.