An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to approve a proposal that would essentially allow states to prohibit local municipalities from setting up their own ISPs to introduce competition in local markets. The bill seems to be a pre-emptive strike against FCC claims that it plans to limit the ability of individual states from stifling local competition. The proposal was inserted into a general appropriations bill (appropriations bill = government funding bill) by Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and passed 223-200. Blackburn, of course, has received thousands of dollars in "donations" from large, well-known ISPs and from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The bill has to pass in the Senate in order to become law."