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June 09, 2005

Proposed federal ban on free WiFi

Via Kos , hat tip to Thad.

A Texas Congressman has introduced a bill that impose a nationwide prohibition on municipally-sponsored networks.

Dubbed by the Author, Representative Pete 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.

First Rick Santorum came for our weather reports on the grounds that it was "unfair" for private weather companies to have to compete with the National Weather Service. Now, Pete Sessions wants to ban sponsored WiFi networks as a sop to his telecom cronies.

It's a cunning strategy: make citizens hate government by destroying all the programs they actually want.

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Comments

Asshole! This is not at all cool, since there are a lot of people working very hard to get free municipal wi-fi in Austin. Sure, it would suck for the internet companies, but it would be a huge boon to every other frigging business here, especially bars and coffee houses and restaurants.

The congressman's name is Pete, and he is an idiot from Dallas. He defeated Martin Frost in a gerrymandered district, thanks to our buddy Tom Delay.

Don't mess with the party of states' rights.

I have decided to start a commercial nation-running service. Since there is now a commercially viable alternative to the executive branch of government, I believe it should be eliminated.

I propose the Preserving Innovation in Sidewalks act of 2005. The bill prohibits state and local governments from providing any sidewalks or pedestrian service that is "substantially similar" to services provided by private companies.

Preserving
Innovation in
Telecom
Act

What a great Acronym! A bill that is truly a PITA!

I find your views interesting, Njorl, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Njorl don't you know the USA has the best government that money can buy?

You can crush our WiFi networks, Pete Sessions, but you can never crush the majesty of the human spirit. Well, unless you grab a random Afghan cab driver off the street, ship him to Cuba, and torture him to death.

Wow, it's almost as if this is 1994 and the Republican party honestly cares about free-market economics. But of course, this is 2005, and the Republicans gave up really caring about free-market theory back when they got rid of Newt Gingrich (a man I never thought I'd miss, till I saw what they replaced him with). The new Republican party is all about tarrifs, subsidies, hand-outs to the politically connected, Euro-bashing, China-bashing, India-bashing, and Islam-bashing. It's just some kind of joke, at this point, for any of them to take a stand in favor of something like free trade.

What an asshat. In the exrememly unlikely event this should pass, it would leave any public library that hasn't added WiFi stuck in the 80's.

Do you think Bill O'Reilly will talk it up?

I mean, pita does go well with falafel.

Lawrence, don't worry; they aren't doing it for the free-market. They're doing it because they figure that they'll profit some how.

Julian Elson:
"You can crush our WiFi networks, Pete Sessions, but you can never crush the majesty of the human spirit. Well, unless you grab a random Afghan cab driver off the street, ship him to Cuba, and torture him to death."

Julian, the guy in question, IIRC, was tortured ^H^H^H^H stressed to death ^H^H^H^H^H non-viability in a genuine Afghan prison, not a Cuban prison. This error demonstrates that you are a Demonocrat, America-Hating Evul Librul, who probably believes in Evilooshun, Sips the Evul Librul Latte, and has gay stem cell marriage with Saddama Bin Hussein.

I am therefore required to scream and rant so long and so loudly that I'll have no energy to expend on any trivial little mistakes that Our Dear Leader might have commited in our Glorious War on Terra.

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