“Lobbyists try to kill Philly wireless plan”

Folks might remember that I’ve got a soft spot for Philly and considerable sympathy for the city attempting to provide its residents with cheaper wireless broadband (and in some neighborhoods just any access at all).

But Philly, according to an AP story, now has to contend with a new Verizon-sponsored piece of legislation with a familial resemblance to the one BellSouth introduced here as is noted in the text:

“In the past year, companies including Qwest Communications International Inc., Sprint Corp., BellSouth Corp., and Verizon Communications Inc. have pressed for legislation in Pennsylvania, Florida, Utah, and Louisiana that would extract concessions from public-sector telecommunications ventures.”

Eliminating your competition by legislation is turning into a regular practice of these big networking monopolies. It isn’t just the teleco’s; recall Cox’s fascinating little attempt to raise taxes on satellite providers in Arizona because (so unfairly!) they didn’t have to pay for rights-of-way that they, being satellite providers, don’t need. —Put’s a new perspective on “fair competition” acts that involve municipalities to know that it doesn’t matter who provides the competition, now doesn’t it?

Here’s to hoping that former Philly mayor Rendell has half the heart that our Governor Blanco showed during Lafayette’s fight and vetoes the bill.

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