Let's face it: BellSouth really hates the concept of muni-wireless. At the beginning of the year, in a fierce battle over the potential for city-supported WiFi in parts of Louisiana, BellSouth threatened to pull a call center out of the state, costing 1,300 jobs if voters didn't vote down the plan. While that was in a different part of Louisiana, it appears that the company is not at all happy that New Orleans has decided to keep up a WiFi network set up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. While the city is still in a "state of emergency" the network will remain at regular speeds. After that, the speeds will be throttled down to 128k (which is part of a state law, put in place at the urging of BellSouth). However, even that's not good enough for BellSouth, apparently. After hearing about the New Orleans plan, the Washington Post claims that BellSouth officials angrily withdrew an offer to donate a damaged building to house New Orleans police headquarters. BellSouth denies that's the reason they pulled back the offer, and claim they're still "negotiating," but others clearly don't see it that way. Of course, all of this should make you wonder just what BellSouth fears in a piddly WiFi mesh network that won't be able to run at speeds above 128k?
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