May 17, 2005
Municipal WiFi safe for now

Some good news from Save Muni Wireless:

HB789 was heard this morning in the Senate Business and Commerce committee. The commitee substitute was based on Chairman Fraser's earlier SB332, which imposes tests for suburban and rural markets before deregulating.

Chairman Fraser's committee substitute did NOT have any language about city-supported network services.


There is some chance the provision will be added back as an amendment on the Senate Floor. However, Senator Fraser seems less favorable to it, so it would face a much steeper battle than in the House, where Rep. King favored it.

Via Dwight. That's one for the good guys, and I join in with Adina and Chip in thanking Sen. Fraser for listening to his constituents and doing what was in the best interests of the public.

As long as the Lege is still in session there's still the chance that someone could try to force that language back into a bill. At least we know that any such attempt will meet with resistance from Sen. Fraser. I'm going to go on record now as saying that no telco will suffer from city-provided wireless networks. If anything, they'll benefit, both from being the contractors to provide the infrastructure to the cities and from the grooming of more potential customers of their expanded services in the future. Heck, some day they'll probably claim this was their idea all along.

UPDATE: That Save Muni Wireless post has the following update for today:

This issue is being widely mis-reported. The threat is not over. The ban remains in the House version of the bill, and the Senate version has not yet passed out of committee. We had a great day yesterday, and we are making progress, but at this moment muni networks remain threatened in Texas.

In other words, it's still a good idea to contact your Rep and/or Senator and express your opposition (again) to this provision.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 17, 2005 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

Although we had a great day in the Senate, this is far from over. The threatening language remains in the House version, and the Senate version hasn't passed out of committee yet. A clarification has been posted at the Save Muni Wireless site.

Posted by: chip on May 17, 2005 3:56 PM