PA Gov Ed Rendell (D) late Tues signed into law a bill placing tight restrictions on the ability of municipalities to build out public Wi-Fi networks, thanks in large part to an aggressive lobbying effort by local incumbent Verizon. The watered-down bill won’t affect Philly’s plans to develop a city-wide Wi-Fi network, as Verizon agreed to waive its right to stop the project. Gov Rendell reluctantly signed the bill, calling the provision limiting municipal competition a "problem," but said Verizon’s decision to allow the Philly plan to continue gave him hope that similar compromises could be worked out in other parts of the state. — Oppenheimer analyst Thomas Eagan said the legislation was "positive for both the cable industry and Comcast," as he did not expect the muni Wi-Fi project to "significantly impact" the incumbent MSO, thanks to its HSD product’s speed and reliability. Moreover, should it serve as a national precedent, the law could be a boon to the cable industry as a whole, as "other municipalities across dozens of states are considering providing wireless Internet access."

The Daily


Doing Good

TDS donated $5000 to the beautification efforts in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up