Arkansas passed Senate Bill 74 in February 2021, which effectively removed many of the barriers to establishing and maintaining municipal broadband networks in the state. That said, questions remain as to whether any barriers truly remain.
Washington’s latest push to remove existing municipal restrictions is House Bill 1336, which claims to create and expand unrestricted authority for public entities to provide broadband directly to residents. However, there is still some question as to how the bill will play out legally. We’ll continue to monitor it throughout the year.
Montana lawmakers introduced House Bill 422 in February, which was intended to remove the states existing ban on the establishment of municipal networks. The bill failed early in the legislative session.
Tennessee has introduced a handful of bills that aim to reduce barriers to municipal broadband expansion over the past several legislative sessions. Despite this, no real movement has been observed. Several of these are being reintroduced this year, but are still stalled.
Idaho introduced a bill that would have expressly given authority on broadband services to communities, but it appears to be dead in the water as of 2021.