In a filing to the FCC that one can only characterize as f-ing insane:
AT&T appreciates this opportunity to comment on the petitions of the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the City of Wilson, North Carolina, asking the Commission to act pursuant to section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 19962 to preempt portions of Tennessee and North Carolina statutes that they claim restrict their ability to provide broadband services. AT&T shares petitioners’ desire to ensure that all Americans, including, but not limited to, those living in and around Chattanooga and Wilson, have access to world class broadband infrastructure. AT&T is skeptical, however, as to whether government owned networks (GONs) will help advance that goal…
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So basically, we think that in some super small area where we have no financial incentive to build broadband, you should be able to build it. Of course:
GONs should not receive any preferential tax treatment. Indeed, any tax incentives or exemptions should be provided, if at all, to private sector firms to induce them to expand broadband deployment to unserved areas.