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WASHINGTON -- Free Press commended Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and his colleagues for introducing legislation to bring broadband competition to communities across the country. Co-sponsored by Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the bipartisan "Community Broadband Act of 2007" would ensure that local governments are not prevented from providing broadband networks to their residents and businesses.

Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott issued the following statement:

"Senator Lautenberg and his colleagues must be commended for introducing legislation that promotes the right of communities to provide broadband Internet services to all their citizens. Community Internet networks provide an essential catalyst for market competition, economic development and universal, affordable Internet access for everyone.

"High-speed Internet access is rapidly becoming one of the most important services in our economy and society. But lack of competition has left too many American cities and towns stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide. Compared to the rest of the developed world, our prices are too high and our speeds are too slow.

"The Community Broadband Act would empower local governments to bring the benefits of broadband to their citizens. With millions still lacking the economic benefits of high-speed Internet services, we urge Congress to move this critical legislation forward."

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