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[News] Another US state repeals law that protected ISPs from municipal competition

Updated: Jun 17


Photo of a reel of conduit ready for installation.

The following article was published by Ars Technica:


Minnesota this week eliminated two laws that made it harder for cities and towns to build their own broadband networks. The state-imposed restrictions were repealed in an omnibus commerce policy bill signed on Tuesday by Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat.


Minnesota was previously one of about 20 states that imposed significant restrictions on municipal broadband. The number can differ depending on who's counting because of disagreements over what counts as a significant restriction. But the list has gotten smaller in recent years because states including Arkansas, Colorado, and Washington repealed laws that hindered municipal broadband.


The Minnesota bill enacted this week struck down a requirement that municipal telecommunications networks be approved in an election with 65 percent of the vote. The law is over a century old, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community Broadband Network Initiative wrote yesterday.


"Though intended to regulate telephone service, the way the law had been interpreted after the invention of the Internet was to lump broadband in with telephone service thereby imposing that super-majority threshold to the building of broadband networks," the broadband advocacy group said.


The full article is available here.

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