June 27, 2019-
The US 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 multi-unit 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 ISP’s to compete in many multi-unit 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 FCC’s mission is to promote competition,” Porter said in a statement her office provided to Ars. “We should be holding them accountable to fulfilling this mission, which is why I’m seeking to defund their declaratory draft ruling preempting San Francisco’s local ordinance, effectively preventing competition.”