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í·e c vt i r e Di r e c t o r

July 22, 2014



1he lonorable 1homas \heeler
Chairman
lederal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.\.
\ashington, D.C. 20554

Dear Chairman \heeler:

On behalí oí the National Coníerence oí State Legislatures ,NCSL,, we write to express our opposition to
your recent remarks articulating your desire to preempt state laws regulating taxpayer íunded broadband
networks. As you consider your course oí action on this matter, we encourage you to heed the principles oí
íederalism and caution you oí the numerous decisions by the United States Supreme Court with regard to the
relationship between the state and its political subdi·isions. 1his is a íundamental tenet oí state go·ernment
and NCSL will challenge the constitutionality oí any action on the part oí the lederal Communications
Commission ,lCC, seeking to diminish the duly adopted laws oí the impacted states or pre·ent additional
states írom exercising their well-established rights to go·ern in the best interests oí the ·oters.

Aside írom the Constitutional challenges, such an attempt disregards the countless hours oí deliberation and
·otes cast by locally elected lawmakers across the country and supplants it with the impulses oí a íi·e-
member appointed body in \ashington, D.C.. As you have conceded previously, “I understand that the
experience with community broadband is mixed, that there have been both successes and failures.” Your
words in mind, is it that unreasonable policymakers in 21 states ha·e responded by enacting saíeguards on
municipal networks to mitigate the pitíalls associated with entry·

State legislators understand the transíormati·e power oí broadband. \e ha·e considered and adopted
numerous measures promoting deployment by encouraging competition in the marketplace as well as public-
pri·ate partnerships. \e share the aspiration that e·ery American ha·e access to broadband and look
íorward to working cooperati·ely with you and the lCC to mo·e the needle on this important endea·or.

\e appreciate the opportunity to communicate the ·iews oí our colleagues across the country. Should you
ha·e any questions, please contact James \ard in our \ashington, D.C. oííice at 202-624-8683 or
james.ward¸ncsl.org"
Sincerely,



Senator Bruce Starr Senator Debbie Smith
Oregon Senate Ne·ada Senate
President, NCSL President-Llect, NCSL