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Down to the wire for the telecom bill

It’s down to the wire for everything, of course, as Lege business wraps up at midnight Monday morning, but the telecom bill, HB789 is going through the conference committee process to see if differences between the House and Senate versions can be worked out. The biggest difference of course is the ban on municipal WiFi networks, but that’s far from the only sticking point.

I haven’t seen anything on the wires as I write this, so I presume negotiations are ongoing with no news to report (though the long slow school finance reform may be sucking all the oxygen out of the newsgathering process). Save Muni Wireless has highlights from the Senate debate and some contact info if you want to pester any conference committee members on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dwight points to this article, which explains that setting up a wireless network in a big metro area ain’t as easy as it sounds. I get the impression that it’s mostly the smaller, rural cities in Texas, the ones that are currently underserved by the big telcos, who are really hot for this, so it may not be such a big concern here. Perhaps by the time the Houstons and Dallases get around to thinking about this, the pioneers like Philly and San Francisco will have worked out the bugs for us.

Finally, here’s a view of the telecom bill battle from the telecom insiders’ perspective.

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  1. Adina Levin says:

    There was a deadline of midnight on Saturday night to get committee reports printed. There isn’t a committee report. I’m not sure if death is absolutely certain — I don’t know if there are ways around that rule. But it looks like the telecom bills is down for the count.

  2. Adina Levin says:

    Phil King has told the Statesman and the Quorum Report that negotiations broke down, and the telecom bill is really dead.