02 December 2004
The PA state legislature passed a law to limit municipalities' rights to implement their own internet services. This gives Verizon a whole lot of power to veto government plans for access. The article does mention that Verizon OK'd the Philly plan before the law was passed, so maybe all is not lost for that city.
In daily news coverage, I also think I heard something about the law requiring a telecom company (aka Verizon) to actually expand their services into rural areas. I could especially see a requirement to provide service within a certain period in areas where they dispute a government access plan. I've not read the law, though, so I don't know what's in there for certain yet. If these clauses are in there, then this could serve well to light a fire under Verizon on expanding DSL services. If they can't provide, then maybe they can't object.
This still does nothing to provide access to lower-income households, though, like a municipality could.