The Mechanics of Taking Philadelphia Wireless

Philadelphia, Verizon Strike Deal on WiFi (See earlier “Wireless-ing” Philadelphia)

The city of Philadelphia and Verizon Communications Inc. struck an agreement Tuesday that would allow the city to provide wireless Internet access as a municipal service even though Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D) signed legislation giving Verizon the power to scuttle the project.

Lawyers for the city and Verizon, the city’s local telephone company, found common ground Tuesday in discussions with the governor’s office, said spokeswomen for Verizon and Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street.

[…] Even with a deal between Philadelphia and Verizon, the legislation will leave every other Pennsylvania city and town subject to a provision that gives the local phone company right of first refusal before they can move forward with any plans to provide municipal Internet.

Later: The Slashdot story links to a seamy tale from the Wall Street Journal: Verizon-Pushed WiFi Bill Becomes Law in PA; even later — The Register’s take: Philly sells Pennsylvania to Verizon and the NYTimes’ Pennsylvania Limits Cities in Offering Net Access