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Texas, free highspeed internet, and the legislator that wants to stop it.

shuamort

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See, I don't get this at all. A non-profit is offering a poor neighborhood free high-speed internet access and a lawmaker wants to stop it because it interferes with "competition". Pfft.

Wireless networks don't click with some
Telecom bill would ban free Internet access like that in model East End program


Will Reed envisions a mouse in every house — computers, that is — and high-speed Internet connections for all. A wired community, he says, is an empowered one.

From his nonprofit group's East End offices, Reed is turning his vision into a reality. Although Pecan Park neighborhood residents may not realize it, e-mail, pictures and commerce now zip above their tree-lined streets. This high-speed, wireless Internet access is free for the taking.

Reed's organization, Technology for All, has pioneered this program to bridge the digital divide with help from Rice University and an enthusiastic Mayor Bill White, who has asked city libraries to join the effort. This small, wired neighborhood may eventually become a model for providing everyone in the city free, or low-cost, Internet access.

Or not.

Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has filed a massive telecommunications bill in Austin this session that, in part, bans Texas cities from participating in wireless information networks.

"I'm not real pleased," Reed said. "As it currently stands, the bill eliminates competition, innovation and a huge research opportunity."

Several telecommunications companies, which provide both dial-up Internet access as well as faster broadband connections through cable and DSL lines, say they were not involved in writing the bill.

That's not to say they disagree with the wireless provision. SBC Communications, which has more DSL customers in the nation than any other provider, said cities should be allowed to offer wireless Internet access in public places, such as parks and libraries. But they should not directly compete with private enterprises by providing services to residents and businesses, said company spokesman Gene Acuña.

"If they do, then we would have some real concerns," he said.
 

Schweddy

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Hrmm... It looks like some guy wants the library to give free access to the neighborhood.(?) With the govn't paying for it.

Sounds extreamly fishy.

I could see giving free access INSIDE a library, but beyond that it does indeed hinder free enterprize.

Socialized Internet connection anyone?
 

shuamort

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vauge said:
Hrmm... It looks like some guy wants the library to give free access to the neighborhood.(?) With the govn't paying for it.

Sounds extreamly fishy.

I could see giving free access INSIDE a library, but beyond that it does indeed hinder free enterprize.

Socialized Internet connection anyone?
Here's the list of sponsors. Only one of which is the government (and that's the US Dept of Commerce), the rest are large corporations, individuals, and churches. It's also not the library that the organization wants to give free access, it's a full system that uses businesses and libraries to host the antennae for broadcasting.
 

shuamort

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Oh, and I'm not a socialist either, I just don't like the fact that a non-profit charity is going through these hoops in the name of "free-enterprise".
 

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shuamort said:
Here's the list of sponsors. Only one of which is the government (and that's the US Dept of Commerce), the rest are large corporations, individuals, and churches. It's also not the library that the organization wants to give free access, it's a full system that uses businesses and libraries to host the antennae for broadcasting.
The library appears to BE the issue. It is municipally owned. If this non-profit kept the libraries out of thier equation, there would not be an issue with this new law. Right?
 

shuamort

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vauge said:
The library appears to BE the issue. It is municipally owned. If this non-profit kept the libraries out of thier equation, there would not be an issue with this new law. Right?
I'm not entirely sure, I'd reckon that is more to the fact that the issue is free internet than it is the libraries hosting the antennae.
 

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shuamort said:
I'm not entirely sure, I'd reckon that is more to the fact that the issue is free internet than it is the libraries hosting the antennae.
THis is how I came up with that thought...
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/font]
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In Sec. 54.201 of the introduced bill, a municipality or municipally owned utility may not, directly or indirectly, on its own or with another entity, offer to the public: (1) a service for which a certificate is required; (2) a service as a network provider; or (3) any telecommunications, or information service, without regard to the technology platform used to provide the service. [/font]

The issue here appears to be a heafty :spin: on his bill. This bill does not want public buildings used for profit or not in the way of telecommunications.
Quite honestly, I would endose this. Nothing new, the library cannot pay someone to come to your house and paint it. Why should they pay for you to have internet services?
 

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I didn't quite understand the legality of it. It almost looks like "theft of services", but without seeing an attorney's opinion of the proposal, I would have to support the bill to ban it also.
 

shuamort

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vauge said:
The issue here appears to be a heafty :spin: on his bill. This bill does not want public buildings used for profit or not in the way of telecommunications.
Quite honestly, I would endose this. Nothing new, the library cannot pay someone to come to your house and paint it. Why should they pay for you to have internet services?
Well, it's not just the municipally owned buildings, it's the municipalities, i.e., the towns, working in their autonomous ways to benefit their own citizens. Of course, the library is not paying for this resource, they are, however, donating space for the antennae. There's a big difference there.
 

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shuamort said:
Well, it's not just the municipally owned buildings, it's the municipalities, i.e., the towns, working in their autonomous ways to benefit their own citizens. Of course, the library is not paying for this resource, they are, however, donating space for the antennae. There's a big difference there.
I would have no issues, but the city clearly pays the taxes on that donated space. A library should not be used for profit, unless the tax payers want it there. (nothing is free - the Gov will end up paying for this) This should be voted on by the citizens before allowing it to continue. The library should have no authority to hand out space.

In order to get a public work of art displayed at a library it takes "an act of congress". For some reason, I believe we are not seeing the entire picture.
 

shuamort

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vauge said:
I would have no issues, but the city clearly pays the taxes on that donated space. A library should not be used for profit, unless the tax payers want it there.
There's no profit to be made from a non-profit giving away free high-speed internet to people that couldn't afford it or pay for it anyway.
 
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