The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina lawmakers want to study the impact of allowing cities to offer low-cost Internet service before letting more municipalities get in the business.

The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Wednesday to impose a freeze on cities and towns that want to sell cheaper, faster Internet service than companies offer while a legislative panel researches the issue.

The freeze ends either when legislators adopt new rules governing municipal broadband operations or lawmakers go home next year without a decision.

Cities offering cable and Internet service – Morganton, Wilson, Mooresville and Davidson – could continue and Salisbury would be allow to continue building its system.

The bill must be approved by the full Senate and then the House.

Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.