Ma Bell's About Face On Muni-WiFi
from the is-that-about-face,-or-just-two-faced? dept
Remember the good old days of... well, last year, when telcos were telcos and they absolutely hated muni-WiFi? It was such a huge threat to their business that they gave Congress people plenty of money to make it illegal. Of course, that was before they actually bothered looking at many of the muni-WiFi proposals, and recognized they weren't really "government-run" at all, but were really no different than traditional telco deals. The government was simply giving away rights of way for placing equipment in return for promises of service. The providers could still be commercial providers with real business models. Suddenly, the industry opposition quieted down. Industry associations claimed that muni-WiFi was great... and AT&T (whose former employee introduced the bill to ban muni-WiFi) was seen providing the very same "free, tax-supported" WiFi they had screamed about just months before. Well, congrats to AT&T for all that hard work trying to stop muni-WiFi. You've just won another muni-WiFi deal (this one without taxpayer funding). Of course, for those of you who thought that muni-WiFi would give consumers an alternate provider, offering real competition to the incumbent telco... well, that doesn't really work so well when that alternate provider is the telco itself.