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FCC to vote on letting cities set up broadband networks that are 100 times faster than average

Two cities want to get rid of laws preventing them from running broadband networks.

By Thor Benson
FCC to vote on letting cities set up broadband networks that are 100 times faster than average
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on communications and technology on capitol hill in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2013. Wheeler told members of congress his agency sees no reason to ban mobile phone calls on planes. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Chattanooga, Tenn. and Wilson, N.C. want the FCC to help them open a path to running city broadband networks.

Letting a city set up its own broadband network would mean citizens would have an alternative to major Internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner. Places like Tennessee have state rules that prevent them from building such a network in certain geographic areas. Around 20 states have similar rules.

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The vote will take place on Feb. 26, and it will only focus on if the two cities that have petitioned the FCC will be allowed to run broadband networks, the Washington Post reports. The decision is expected to influence future petitions for such abilities.

The news of the vote comes weeks after a bill called the Community Broadband Act was introduced, which was created by three senators. The act would revoke state laws that prevent such networks from being built.

These networks can operate at 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than the national average.

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