Wireless

by Derek Kerton




BellSouth Points Out The Unfair Legislation For Which They Lobbied

from the might-not-want-to-highlight-that dept

Back in November 2005, we wrote about how Tropos was powering a WiFi mesh network in the devastated city of New Orleans, and commented that despite reservations about the applicability of WiFi to Wide Area deployments, the nature of the emergency was such that a mesh network was the best choice possible to get the city re-connected ASAP. Today, an estimated 15,000 users connect to the muni network in a city where a third of the inhabitants still can't access a working phone line. We also commented on how the mesh network was providing service up to 512Kbps, which went against a state law limiting municipal services to 128Kbps or less. Well, the time has come for BellSouth to declare the 'hurricane honeymoon' over, and at a time when their public relations are not particularly great, are pulling the telecom equivalent of telling jokes about the deceased at a funeral, or jokes about the bride's fidelity at a wedding: The telco lobbyists are seeking enforcement of the legislation they probably wrote in the first place, and seeking to shut down the muni WiFi in the Big Easy. The New Orleans mayor and CIO say they will not comply with an order to shut off the network - preferring jail to disconnecting their citizens. Noble, perhaps, yet where were they when these questionable laws were getting put on the books?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 6:10pm

    Acting as consultants?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 6:11pm

    Taking payoffs....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 6:11pm

    Same thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Junior, 23 Mar 2006 @ 6:12pm

    Oh...K

    Serves em right for agreeing to such a BS speed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gattaca, 23 Mar 2006 @ 7:20pm

    kbps?

    whats a kbps?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 8:09pm

    Not as Big or as Easy

    The politicians in the most corrupt city in this country now have the clout (and more importantly the spotlight) allowing (or preventing) them to go through with their buyout. Sure they are corrupt politicians. Now too many people are watching to let this public facet be tarnished. I would still keep my eyes on all that money rollin in. Since when do mayors drive Maybachs?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 8:25pm

    I thought D.C. was the most corrupt? .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2006 @ 8:26pm

    I thought D.C. was the most corrupt? (though it is not a city).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dataguy, 24 Mar 2006 @ 5:33am

    "legislation they probably wrote in the first place"
    What kind of reporting is that? Were they or were they not involved in writing the bill? If you can't find out, then don't bring up the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2006 @ 6:37am

    I think the mayor actually said he would keep the network as long as it was necessary. He never took the position of sticking it to the man.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John, 24 Mar 2006 @ 10:50am

    Corporate Influence...absolutely!

    BellSouth did write the bill or at least corporate interests did. The bill had a clear history going back to a corporate-sponsored group which exists to write state level legislation. The "legislators" get a virtually free ride to nifty locales while the corprorate person they are paired with bids (yes, bids) for his seat. Telecom seats used to go for the most....back when they didn't hide their funding process.

    Further info about Noble Ellington--the legislative "author"--and ALEC--the corporate-controlled organization that wrote the law:

    http://lafayetteprofiber.com/Blog/2005/08/council-helps-shape-legislation-in.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dataguy, 24 Mar 2006 @ 11:19am

      Re: Corporate Influence...absolutely!

      Thanks for the link John - interesting and scary. If true you would think that making it public that a legislator submited and managed to pass laws that were supplied whole cloth by big business would make it harder to get re-elected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        John, 24 Mar 2006 @ 7:35pm

        Re: Re: Corporate Influence...absolutely!

        dataguy,

        You are disturbed by the fact that a legislator submitted a law that was written by corporate interests. Me too. But I think this is common in state legislatures--so common as to be unremarkable. It is not a peculiarity of Lousiana by any means.

        The guy, "Noble" Ellington, represents one of the most rural and depressed areas of the "delta" (which is actually in North Louisiana). His constituents care about a whole different class of issues and only care that he delivers in that range. Campaign contributions speak loudly. Again, I don't think its rare: I think it common. (He currently has a bill prefiled that will install in Louisiana a state franchising bill that would institute all the worst parts of that idea--including an explicit prohibition of any requirement that a phone company serve the whole community and not just the richest part.

        He's a kept man. But I guess no one will bother to run against him.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    [Rx2] Ano?, 24 Mar 2006 @ 1:49pm

    ????

    "state law limiting municipal services to 128Kbps or less"


    why is there a law limiting services to 128kbps or less..... whos the idot who made that law? what good does it do? NONE. i cant believe it.. and the mayor and CIO saying they wont shut off Wifi to the citizens, and they would rather face jail? who do they think they are???!?? what kind of Mayor is that? who doesnt abide by the Law.. who knows what other laws he Dismisses... and rather go to jail for...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2006 @ 9:44am

    For $100K to the right people, I could turn off the ELECTRICITY in New Orleans. If the corporations aren't getting what they want in NO, it just means that they are being too stingy with ye olde slush fund....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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