Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Verizon Fights to Keep Wireless Away from You

Mediachannel has the story

The reality today is that we live in an era where large corporations work hand-in-hand with lobbyists and compliant legislators to stifle any technology that returns control of our media system to the public.

The latest evidence lies hidden within a Bill en route to the desk of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. House Bill 30 -- an industry-drafted and inspired sprawl of corporate concessions -- has tucked within its more than 70 pages an amendment that effectively kills efforts in Philadelphia to provide citywide wireless access at little or no charge.

The bill cleared both Pennsylvania's House and Senate on Friday. A signature from Governor Rendell would scuttle "Philadelphia Wireless" -- an ambitious plan to build a Wi-Fi network to serve the city's working-class communities -- before the project could begin.
The industry pulls considerable weight in Washington -- spending more than $160 million since 1999 on efforts to woo legislators and win support for policies that effectively hand over publicly owned media assets, such as our airwaves, to private control. Industry lobbyists have also spread out across the country to uproot local competition and defend big media interests town to town.


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