Fri, Jul 13th 2007 2:00pm
Telcos' resistance to municipal WiFi broadband projects is pretty well documented, but it's been interesting to see how their position changes once they realize they can make some money from running the muni networks. Over in France, the country's incumbent operator, France Telecom, has filed a legal challenge to Paris' plan to roll out free hotspots (via MuniWireless), saying they will illegally compete with its network of 2,250 paid hotspots in the city. This argument has been made before in Europe, like in Barcelona, where the city was forced to shut down its hotspots after a similar complaint -- even though they blocked access to everything except 60 sites with city information and services. What makes France Telecom's suit even more ridiculous is that its mobile phone unit, Orange, bid on the tender to provide the service for the city. Now, after it's lost out, the company cries foul.
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