There's little more exciting to me than municipal wi-fi -- munipialities creating free hot zones for their residents to enjoy.
But forever carrying water for Big Business, the GOP isn't happy with consumers getting free Internet.
A Texas Congressman has introduced a bill that impose a nationwide prohibition on municipally-sponsored networks.
Dubbed by the Author, Representative Pet Sessions (R-Texas), the Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005, the bill prohibits state and local governments from providing any telecommunications or information service that is "substantially similar" to services provided by private companies.
The bill, HR 2726, is similar to a host of state bills pushed by telecommunications companies aimed at fending off municipally-run wireless networks. Some of those bills, most recently one in Texas, have been stalled in state legislatures.
The telecommunications operators say that such networks represent unfair competition while municipalities claim that the services are needed to promote business and close the gap between digital haves and have-nots.
According to Sessions' on-line biography, he is a former employee of Southwestern Bell and Bell Labs.
Many cities are using the wi-fi to draw people to business centers downtown, not to beam the Internet into their own homes. But that's still "unfair competition" to the telcos, who are fleecing consumers with ridiculously high broadband rates.
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