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House Votes To Block Ajit Pai’s Plan To Kill San Francisco Broadband Law

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block Ajit Pai’s attempt to kill a San Francisco ordinance designed to promote broadband competition in apartment buildings. As we reported last week, the Federal Communications Commission chair has scheduled a July 10 vote on a measure that would preempt the San Francisco city ordinance, which lets Internet service providers use the existing wiring inside multiunit residential and commercial properties even if the wiring is already used by another ISP that serves the building. The ordinance applies only when the inside wiring belongs to the property owner, but it makes it easier for ISPs to compete in many multiunit buildings already served by another provider.

Pai claimed that the city’s rule “deters broadband deployment” and infringes on the FCC’s regulation of cable wiring. But US Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) proposed a budget amendment that would forbid the FCC from using any funding to implement or enforce Pai’s preemption proposal. The House, which is controlled by Democrats, yesterday approved the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for fiscal 2020 in a mostly party-line vote of 224-196. Earlier in the day, the House approved a block of amendments including Porter’s proposal that “prohibits the Federal Communications Committee from finalizing a draft declaratory ruling that would overturn local ordinances that promote broadband competition.” The amendment’s passage by a vote of 227-220 was also noted in the Congressional Record.


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