Wi-fi cities spark hotspot debate

Pete writes "Just substitue "RIAA" for "telecoms" in this BBC story and you can guess what the future holds. Where do libraries fit in this scheme?"A growing number of cities in the US are treating high-speed internet as a basic amenity for citizens, like running water or the electricity grid. But as the concept expands so does the battle with big business.San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said: "This is inevitable - wi-fi. It is long overdue. It is to me a fundamental right to have access universally to information."But the big telecoms firms - who have invested billions in cable or fibre optic links to millions of US homes - are waging a legislative and PR campaign against municipal initiatives.Currently there is a bill going through Congress, sponsored by the Texan Republican Pete Sessions, that aims to ban cities from building municipal broadband networks under most circumstances.But there is also an opposing bill in favour of the city networks, a bill backed by Republican John McCain and Democrat Frank Lautenberg.""

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