June 24, 2005

Phone Giants Lobby to Block Town's Wireless Plans

Jesse Drucker and Li Yuan:

After years of waiting for a local phone company to roll out high-speed Internet access in this growing lakeside town of about 6,400 people, municipal information-technology director Tony Tull took matters into his own hands. The city last year invited a start-up telecom firm to hang wireless equipment from a water tower and connect the town.

The network now provides high-speed wireless Web access to most of Granbury, and the town is negotiating to buy some of the equipment. But Granbury's foray into the wireless business has propelled it into a battle between cities and technology companies on one side and big telephone companies on the other.

SBC Communications Inc., the dominant phone company in Texas, and other big phone companies say that cities should not be allowed to subsidize high-speed Internet connections -- even in areas where the companies don't yet offer the service.

Posted by James Zellmer at June 24, 2005 12:01 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Broadband