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US cities want faster broadband

Is fast internet as important to a city as roads and waterways? Mayors from 32 cities made that case on Monday, saying gigabit-level internet speeds will be key to the future of their economy, and to improving education and health care.

The mayors, representing towns as diverse as Palo Alto, CA and Lexington, KY, announced a new coalition called Next Century Cities that aspires to remove political and economical obstacles standing in the way of faster broadband.

The announcement, which came at a co-working space in the Southern California beachfront city of Santa Monica, comes at a time when two cities — Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina — are asking the FCC to declare that the federal government has the power to pre-empt state laws that limit municipalities from building out their broadband capacity.

The calls for faster broadband are hardly controversial, since everyone wants faster internet. Instead, the issue is what tools cities can use to get it — and whether municipal broadband is a way to disrupt incumbents’ monopolies, or if it represents an over-expansion of government.

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Source: Gigaom

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