FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler got his start as a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries. So, it's no surprise that many are suspicious of his intentions and dedication to fighting for the rights of American consumers. While his recent waffling on Net Neutrality is still cause for concern, his recent statements in support of municipal broadband are worth cheering. In a statement posted to the FCC site, Wheeler said that:
If the people, acting through their elected local governments, want to pursue competitive community broadband, they shouldn't be stopped by state laws promoted by cable and telephone companies that don't want that competition.
That's about as strong a statement as one can expect from the head of a regulatory body. Plus, it's a pretty blunt challenge to both the industry he once lobbied on behalf of, and the government officials many believe are in their back pockets. In particular he cited the case of Chattanooga, TN which built out its own gigabit per-second fiber network out of frustration with the options offered by the incumbent Comcast.