Adina Levin and Chip Rosenthal have written about an omnibus telecom bill in Texas that proposes to not only prohibit the introduction of municipal wireless service but would also outlaw existing free WiFi networks that have already been established in various Texas locales. The wording of this bill is shocking because it would even prevent free WiFi in public libraries! How ridiculous is this bill that is obviously originated if not even written by utility companies that want to keep their lock on any communication services that municipalities might want to offer. When is the last time you heard about voters declaring they don’t want free municipal services?
Here is the proposed language of the bill:
Sec. 54.202. PROHIBITED MUNICIPAL SERVICES. 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.
(via The Houston Chronicle)