A Texas Congressman has introduced a bill that impose a nationwide prohibition on municipally-sponsored networks.
Dubbed by the Author, Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005, the bill prohibits state and local governments from providing any telecommunications or information service that is "substantially similar" to services provided by private companies.
The bill, HR 2726, is similar to a host of state bills pushed by telecommunications companies aimed at fending off municipally-run wireless networks.
How times have changed. Modern technology and a new political climate have resolved sharp differences between two different camps that had been papered over until recently. On the one hand, there are limited-government conservatives and libertarians who chafe at unnecessary government intrusion in the commercial sphere, regardless of whom it benefits. On the other side are "conservatives" like Congressman Sessions here, to whom corporate profit is more important than restraining government meddling.
Related column of mine, here. And here's an amusing bit: "U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) wants to take state and local governments out of the broadband business. It's for their own good, the former Southwestern Bell executive said. "