February 28, 2005

Broadband for All

The following was published as a letter to the editor in today's Austin American-Statesman.

Provisions in Texas House Bill 789 could turn our state into a broadband backwater. Communities across Texas have launched innovative projects to ensure that their companies and citizens have access to high-speed Internet. HB 789 would make that illegal.

The phone companies say this will prevent "unfair competition" by local government. Yet, the only towns that want to set up their own broadband, such as Linden and Gun Barrel City, are so small that no phone company offers broadband there.

Austin has been experimenting with free wireless in parks and municipal buildings. Future broadband initiatives could stimulate economic development and help bridge the digital divide — but not if the ban remains.

State Rep. Todd Baxter, R-Austin, sits on the committee that is hearing this bill. I hope Baxter will do what's right for Austin and strike the municipal network ban from the bill.

Chip Rosenthal
Save Muni Wireless Coalition

Posted by chip at February 28, 2005 09:51 AM

The Statesman is carring a wire service story in the tech section on the national muni network battle. (You need to register to read it there.)

It's also in the Houston Chronicle:


Posted by: chip at February 28, 2005 10:10 AM