If you were hoping that the FCC's efforts to protect municipal broadband would survive telecoms' attempts to destroy it, we have bad news. A federal appeals court has shot down an FCC order that preempted laws banning city-run internet access in North Carolina and Tennessee, prompting both states to file lawsuits. According to the decision, the Commission was overriding state rights without legal authority. While the FCC interpreted a clause in the Telecommunications Act (that it must "encourage" a timely rollout of broadband) as giving it permission to step in, the court sees it as insisting that cities must expand their internet options. There has to be a clearer mandate, the judges say.