Despite a valiant effort by a large number of people to get the bill vetoed, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has gone ahead and signed the new state telecom bill into law, meaning that any municipality that wants to offer its constituents broadband now have to ask companies for permission first. Rendell side-stepped the controversy over the bill by pointing to the agreement between Verizon and Philadelphia that Verizon would not block Philly's efforts to offer free WiFi across the city. This is problematic, however, in that it sets the precedent that cities somehow need to ask companies before they can offer their residents services they feel are necessary and helpful. While it's not as bad as the situation in Barcelona, it's still another state making a bad decision based on the lobbying of a few companies. And, in this case, it includes a company that has lied and scammed the state of Pennsylvania multiple times, with promises of broadband for all (at one point, fiber for all) in return for various windfalls. Rather than deliver, however, they've simply taken the windfall and moved on. So, here's another one that also lets them make sure that local governments can't keep them honest.
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