According to a new report from the website Broadbandnow, 26 states have implemented laws prohibiting or strictly restricting community broadband projects. The report lists the specific conditions of each state. According to the report, “only $20 million was spent in 2018 to protect business interests at the national and state levels.”
Six of the states "directly ban municipal broadband" - Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. For the other 20 states identified, the restrictions range from “bureaucratic barriers” and “excessive referendum requirements” to population caps and excessive taxation.
The report pointed out that the main concern of many people is the lack of trust in large telecoms and criticism of these companies for abusing their monopoly to maximize profits.
However, this is not all bad news, as the report does list some of the efforts of federal and state legislators to maintain the competitiveness of the telecommunications market, such as the Democratic Party's bill to prohibit the cessation of municipal and community project regulations. Although the 2018 Community Broadband Act was ultimately unsuccessful, it at least showed that this was a problem that Congress recognized.