Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

In what could be a blow to the rollout of fiberoptics-to-the-home, the Supreme Court has ruled that states can stop cities and towns from going into the telecommunications business. The court upheld a Missouri law prohibiting municipalities from offering local telecom services. At least eight other states have similar laws to the Missouri one. The decision was a victory for SBC Communications and other local phone companies, which were supported by the FCC. In response to the 8-1 ruling, SBC (the country’s second-largest local phone company) issued a statement saying that local governments should focus their energies on foster ing competition among private communications companies, rather than becoming telecom providers themselves. The trouble, as Jeff Hecht reported on in December, is that–particularly in rural areas–telecom companies have had their chance to provide technologically up-to-date service and have generally fallen short. In fact, while big telecom companies have dithered, municipal utilities in place like Grant County, WA, and Kutztown, PA, are pushing bandwidth-rich fiberoptics to the home.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me