Thursday, February 24, 2005
This week, the Texas legislature is holding committee hearings for the anti-wireless bill. The committee members will determine whether the provisions to outlaw municipal networks will be stricken or preserved.
Representatives Joe Crabb and Sylvestor Turner from Houston sit on that comittee. We need our two Houston area Representatives to understand why the anti-wireless provisions are bad for Houston, bad for business and bad for innovation. We support competition and innovation.
Here in Houston, TFA-Wireless is a collaborative project of Rice University (www.rice.edu) and its Rice Networks Group (http://www.ece.rice.edu/networks/ ), TFA (www.techforall.org/tfa_wireless.html ) and the Houston Public Library ( http://www.hpl.lib.tx.us/hpl/hplhome.html ). It is unique collaborative project that is threatened by the proposed legislation in Austin. The blessing of the City is vital to the project and HB789 will cause significant harm.
The City has been a strong partner with these organizations all along the way. A large part of the credibility and success of TFA-Wireless comes from its working together with the City by way of the Houston Public library. This relationship doesn't harm the incumbent communication providers—the force behind HB 789. This partnership brings them more business.
The anti-wireless provisions of HB 789 jeopardize TFA-Wireless, and will jeopardize other wireless efforts underway across Houston and across the state.
If Sylvester Turner or Joe Crabb is your state representative, it is critical that you let him know that you support public wireless. Ask your representative to strike the anti-wireless provisions from HB 789.