U.S Anti-MuniWiFi Bill Introduced

6 Jun ’05

Representative Pat Sessions (R-Texas) (oddly enough!), has introduced the fatuously named “Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005”, a bill to “prohibit state and local governments from providing any telecommunications or information service that is “substantially similar” to services provided by private companies.”

Via Michael Geist’s BNA Internet Law News.

From MobilePipeline:

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. The bill will first be considered by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Oddly enough …

For more on MuniWifi, see here.

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