Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Florida Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
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FLA. STAT. § 815.06 (1)  Whoever willfully, knowingly, and without authorization:

  • (a)  Accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, or computer network;
  • (b)  Disrupts or denies or causes the denial of computer system services to an authorized user of such computer system services, which, in whole or part, is owned by, under contract to, or operated for, on behalf of, or in conjunction with another;
  • (c)  Destroys, takes, injures, or damages equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, or computer network;
  • (d)  Destroys, injures, or damages any computer, computer system, or computer network; or
  • (e)  Introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, or computer network,

    commits an offense against computer users.
  • ECPA :: Cell Phone Location Information :: Expectation of Privacy

    Tracey v. State, 152 So. 3d 504, 525-26 (Fla. 2014) 

    Municipal Broadband

  • Outsourced operations - issues: 24/7 customer support. Remote sys monitoring.
  • Funding sources: Some cities have justified it on savings on meter reading. Possible sources: Econ Dev Fund, Special Improvement District Fund; Utility Fund; Public Safety Budget; Allocation from General Fund. Built into development code the construction of access points on poles - developers must build. Usage fees. Public Funds. Ad Fees (on splash page - in St Cloud, local newspaper is on splash page)
  • Building Community Support: identify needs, receive information. Research. Education. Input. Consensus building.
  • Research: Survey current available broadband (dial up, broadband, total). What is the average annual expenditure per family for the Net. No private service provider offered to provide service desired.
  • Education: City staff, elected officials, muni users, citizens, community orgs, media
  • Community input: how can connectivity make difference within your community. Identify benefits that can be achieved
  • Consensus building: build plan based on research and input. Validate plan with community. Get media support.
  • Take plan to elected body
  • If you do not educate your community with facts, then the incumbents will do it with fiction
  • Broad based community outreach program
  • Have soft opening / pilot project - set expectations
  • Followup and verify success. Report back to citizens on results. Keep media informed.
  • 36% of city wired March 6, 2006 - April 19 (45 days). Number of individual sessions 50k; Total hours logged by users 192,911. Average session length 3.79 hours. Max number o simultaneous users 631. Number of peplink devices sold 315. Number of calles to help line 842.
  • About 9% of households had to add CPE bridge device
  • Power: Put power meter on one pole AP and then multiply that for each pole
  • Backhaul in city is all wireless. Goes to city haul and then out. Mesh network.
  • Press Release, City of St. Cloud, St. Cloud Residents to Vote on Cyber Spot in November, Mar. 26, 2010,
  • Tropos – Aptilo Case Study – St. Cloud, Florida, TROPOS NETWORKS, 1 (May 2008).
  • Glenn Gleishman, Heartbreak of Heartland, Again, WI-FI NET NEWS (Dec. 28, 2009),
  • Esme Vos, Angry Residents Prompt St. Cloud, Florida to Keep Free WiFi Service Running, MUNIWIRELESS (Oct. 2, 2009),
  • Will Raymond, Municipal Wifi: St. Cloud on Cloud Nine, CITIZEN WILL (Sept. 11, 2006, 10:51 PM)
  • Wi-Fi City Sees Startup Woes, WIRED (Apr. 23, 2006)
  • St. Cloud, Florida: after six months, 77% have registered for muni Wi-Fi service, Muniwireless 9/12/2006
  • St. Cloud, Florida launches free citywide Wi-Fi, Muniwireless 3/7/2006
  • St. Cloud, FL Ranks #1 in the World With 100% Universal Broadband Access and Penetration, Business Wire March 6, 2007 ("At a time when the United States has slipped to 16th in the world in broadband penetration (source - International Telecommunication Union), the City of St. Cloud has refused to take 2nd place, let alone 16th, when it comes to providing economic and social opportunities for its residents.")
  • Papers
  • The Case for Municipal Broadband in Florida, Florida Municipal Electric Association
  • Laws: 350-0614 (See law prior to amendment)
  • FLA. STAT. 350.81(2)
  • Florida S.B. 1714 / H.B. 1325, 107th REG. SESS. (2005). As originally proposed, Florida S.B.1714 / H.B. 1325 would have prohibited municipalities providing communications or information services from extending their service areas, adding new subscribers, or adding new services, except for its internal operating needs. However, those municipalities with existing service could continue to provide such service. Ultimately, a different bill was signed into law
  • SB 1322 : Fla Stat 166.047

    A governmental entity that proposes to provide a communications service shall hold no less than two public hearings, which shall be held not less than 30 days apart. . . . .

    (b) At a public hearing required by this subsection, a governmental entity must, at a minimum, consider:

    1. Whether the service that is proposed to be provided is currently being offered in the community and, if so, whether the service is generally available throughout the community.

    2. Whether a similar service is currently being offered in the community and, if so, whether the service is generally available throughout the community.

    . . . . .

    (c) At one or more of the public hearings under this subsection, the governmental entity must make available to the public a written business plan for the proposed communications service venture containing, at a minimum:


    (d) After making specific findings regarding the factors in paragraphs (b) and (c), the governmental entity may authorize providing a communications service by a majority recorded vote and by resolution, ordinance, or other formal means of adoption.

    (f) A governmental entity providing a communications service may not price any service below the cost of providing the service by subsidizing the communications service with moneys from rates paid by subscribers of a noncommunications services utility or from any other revenues. The cost standard for determining cross-subsidization is whether the total revenue from the service is less than the total long-run incremental cost of the service. Total long-run incremental cost means service-specific volume and nonvolume-sensitive costs.

    (j) A governmental entity may not use its powers of eminent domain under chapter 73, Florida Statutes, solely or primarily for the purpose of providing a communications service.

    (k) The governmental entity shall conduct an annual review at a formal public meeting to consider the progress the governmental entity is making toward reaching its business plan goals and objectives for providing communication services. At the public meeting the governmental entity shall review the related revenues, operating expenses, and payment of interest on debt.

    (l) If, after 4 years following the initiation of the provision of communications services by a governmental entity or 4 years after the effective date of this act, whichever is later, revenues do not exceed operating expenses and payment of principal and interest on the debt for a governmental entity's provision of communications services, no later than 60 days following the end of the 4-year period a governmental entity shall hold a public hearing at which the governmental entity shall do at least one of the following:

    1. Approve a plan to cease providing communications services;

    2. Approve a plan to dispose of the system the governmental entity is using to provide communications services and, accordingly, to cease providing communications services;

    3. Approve a plan to create a partnership with a private entity in order to achieve operations in which revenues exceed operating expenses and payment of principal and interest on debt; or

    4. Approve the continuing provision of communications services by a majority vote of the governing body of the governing authority

  • Florida S.B. 1322 2nd ENGROSSED, 107th REG. SESS. (2005). S.B. 1332, which was signed into law on June 2, 2005, requires a municipality providing a communications service to hold a public meeting each year to report on the municipal network’s progress toward its objectives. Id. at § 8(2)(k). S.B. 1322 requires that if a municipal wireless system’s revenues do not cover operating costs and bond payments after four years, the municipality must hold a public hearing to review a plan to do one of four things: (1) shut down the system; (2) sell the system; (3) enter into a partnership with a private entity; or (4) continue operating the system. See id. at § 8(2)(k)(1). Under S.B. 1322, “[a] governmental entity providing a communications service may not price any service below the cost of providing the service by subsidizing the communications service with moneys from rates paid by subscribers of a noncommunications services utility or from any other revenues.” S.B. 1332 at § 8(2)(k)(1)(f).
  • FTC Report, n. 170.
  • Free Press Florida
  • Taxes on telecom services offered by public entities. APPA Sept 2005 SB 1322 signed into law June 2, 2005. Baller Herbst Law Group: Status of State Barriers Proposed in 2005 and 2006
  • Mr. Robert Sahr : SD PUC, State and Local Issues and Municipal Networks Senate Commerce Committee February 14 2006: Two, the State of Florida enacted a law in 2005 governing municipal entry into telecommunications services. Under that law, a governmental entity proposing to provide communications service must make available to the public a written business plan for the venture and must hold no less than two public hearings, not less than 30 days apart, in which the following shall be considered:
  • Whether the service is currently provided in the community and whether it is generally available throughout the community.
  • Whether a similar service is currently being offered in the community and is generally available throughout the community.
  • If the service is not being offered, whether any other provider proposes to offer the same or similar service and what, if any, assurances that service provider has offered that it is willing and able to provide the same service.
  • The capital investment required by the government entity to provide the communications service, the estimated operation and maintenance costs, the estimated realistic revenues and expenses of providing the service, and the proposed method of financing.
  • Private and public costs and benefits of providing the service by a private entity or a governmental entity, including economic development impacts, tax-base growth, education, and public health.
  • VoIP

  • Florida PSC
  • Florida Comments in FCC IP Enabled Services Proceeding
  • Florida VoIP Tax Law
  • Florida removes VoIP tax from books, CNET 5/13/2005
  • Florida paves way for VoIP taxation CNET May 3, 2004
  • Overlooked Tax Provision Gets Attention Tampa Tribune Apr 15, 2004
  • In Re Petition of Verizon Florida, Inc. fMa GTE Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement with MCImetro Access Transmission Services, LLC, Docket No. 040067-TP (VoIP is to be considered a telecom service and not an information service)
  • Docket No. 040047-TI? - Petition for approval of Amendment No. 1 to interconnection agreement between MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC and Verizon Florida Inc., Florida PSC Memo (April 26, 2004)
  • By letter dated January 23,2004, Verizon Florida Inc. filed a petition for approval of Amendment No. 1 to interconnection agreement between Verizon Florida Inc. and MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC. Under the requirements of 47 U.S.C. §252(e), negotiated agreements must be submitted to the state commission for approval. Section 252(e)(4) requires

  • the state to reject or approve the agreement within 90 days after submission or it shall be deemed approved. The statutory deadline for the Commission to take action on this matter was April 22, 2004.
    Level 3 Communications, LLC filed comments expressing concern about the precedential value, if any, of this agreement. Staff notes that negotiated agreements are not considered binding precedent for other negotiated agreements, or for agreements reached through arbitration.
    Staff reviewed the agreement in this Docket on February 26,2004. The agreement met the criteria outlined in Section 2.07.CS.d of the Administrative Procedures Manual. Therefore, it has gone into effect by operation of law in accordance with Section 252(e)(4) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Accordingly, with this Memorandum, the docket is hereby Closed.
  • Comments of Level3 Feb 23, 2004
  • Second, the amendment provides that all Voice Over Intemet Protocol (L‘VOIP”) traffic will be defined as “Telecommunications Services” for puGoses of the amendment, and treated as telecommunications traffic for inter-carrier compensation- (including access charge) purposes. (Amendment at 6-7, 12.) It specifically calls for the billing of access charges on VOIP traffic that originates or terminates outside the applicable Verizon local calling area. (Id. at 7.) Although the FCC admittedly has left the regulatory status of VOIP traffic quite unclear, it has stated expressly that at least some forms of VOIP do not appear to be telecommunications serviced The definition of this traffic as “telecommunications” for purposes of the amendment therefore contradicts another provision of the amendment stating that “Telecommunications Services” has the same meaning in the amendment as in the Telecom Act. (Amendment at 10.) This contradiction renders the amendment ambiguous, and potentially unenforceable. Further, if an entity that transmits VOIP is not providing telecommunications service, then it is not a

  • “carrier” and is not subject to the payment of access charges under the FCC’s interpretation of its access charge rules, even ifthe VOIP traffic has an interstate origin or destination.’ The amendment, therefore, would appear to allow Verizon or MCI to collect switched access charges on some traffic that is not subject to those charges under FCC rules.
  • Further, the issue of classification of VOIP services and the application of access charges is currently pending before the FCC.* Even if the Commission finds it appropriate for MCI and Verizon to agree on how VOIP traffic will be treated us between these two parties in advance of an FCC ruling, the Commission should declare expressly that this private agreement will not serve as a precedent to bind any other party.
  • Verizon Florida Inc. (Chapkis) - Letter dated 1/23/03 [sic] with petition for approval of amendments to interconnection agreements with MCI competitive local exchange carriers 1/23/2004
  • BellSouth Internet Protocol Telephony Gateway (IPTG) Ordering Guide March 26, 2004 Tariff filed at FCC and Florida
  • Florida Passes SB 654, keeps IP Telephony unregulated, Florida 6/2/03
  • In re: Petition for arbitration of unresolved issues resulting from negotiations with Sprint- Florida, Incorporatedfor interconnection

  • agreement, by AT&T Communications of the Southern States, LLC d/b/a AT&T and TCG South Florida. DOCKET NO. 030296-TP
  • BellSouth VoIP Gateway Tariff T-030555
  • May 2003 SB 654 Tele-Competition Innovation and Infrastructure Enhancement Act.
  • 3         364.01  Powers of commission, legislative intent.--
    24  telecommunications workforce. The Legislature further finds
    25  that the provision of voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) free
    26  of unnecessary regulation, regardless of the provider, is in
    27  the public interest.

    28         Section 3.  Section 364.02, Florida Statutes, is
    29  amended to read:
    30         364.02  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:

    20         (12)(11)  "Service" is to be construed in its broadest
    21  and most inclusive sense. The term "service" does not include
    22  voice-over-internet protocol service for purposes of
    23  regulation by the commission. Nothing herein shall affect the
    24  rights and obligations of any entity related to the payment of
    25  switched network access rates or other intercarrier
    26  compensation, if any, related to voice-over-internet protocol
    27  service.

    14         Section 15.  Section 364.164, Florida Statutes, is
    15  created to read:
    16         364.164  Competitive market enhancement.-

    17         (8)  If either the Federal Communications Commission or
    18  the commission issues a final order determining that
    19  voice-over-internet protocol service or a functionally
    20  equivalent service shall not be subject to the payment of
    21  switched network access rates pursuant to a local exchange
    22  telecommunications company tariff or interconnection agreement
    23  or other law, the provisions of subsection (2) shall
    24  immediately become operative as if the commission had granted
    25  a petition pursuant to subsection (1). Any local exchange
    26  telecommunications company subject to this section shall be
    27  authorized to reduce its switched network access rates to the
    28  company's authorized local reciprocal compensation rates in a
    29  revenue-neutral manner, pursuant to subsections (2)-(7), in
    30  the shortest remaining timeframe allowable under this section.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Telecommunications Legislation
  • Q: I understand the legislation prohibits regulation of Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. What is VOIP?

  • A: The technology referred to as VOIP allows users to transmit voice conversations over a data network using the Internet.
  • Jan 27 2003 Florida State PSC Workshop on IP Telephony
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol Staff Workshop January 27, 2003 Industry Comments
  • Docket 021061-TPDenied:  Petition of CNM Networks, Inc. for declaratory statement that CNM's (CNM changed its name to Callipso) phone-to-phone Internet protocol (IP) telephony is not "telecommunications" and that CNM is not a "telecommunications company" subject to Florida Public Service Commission jurisdiction.   Order Dec 2002. | Petition |  Note that the order states "We however direct our staff to conduct a (sic) undocketed workshop to explore the issue of phone-to-phone IP telephony." Order Page 3.
  • Time Warner VoIP Field Trial Putting VoIP to the Crash Test, CED May 2002
  • Florida Public Service Commission White Paper on Internet Pricing: Regulatory Implications and Future Issues September 25, 2000
  • "Looking forward, a key question to be resolved is whether VoIP providers qualify as telecommunications carriers, or as information service providers (or ESPs). Fundamental to this question is whether a service provided over the Internet that appears functionally similar to a traditionally-regulated service should be subject to existing regulatory requirements of traditional telephony. In this respect, VoIP providers could be considered as fundamentally analogous to switchless long-distance ‘resellers’, and thus be required to pay the same rates (access charges) to LECs for use of local networks to originate and terminate interstate call."
  • Law: 64.013  Emerging and advanced services.--Broadband service and the provision of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) shall be free of state regulation, except as delineated in this chapter or as specifically authorized by federal law, regardless of the provider, platform, or protocol.
  • 364.0361  Local government authority; nondiscriminatory exercise.--A local government shall treat each telecommunications company in a nondiscriminatory manner when exercising its authority to grant franchises to a telecommunications company or to otherwise establish conditions or compensation for the use of rights-of-way or other public property by a telecommunications company. A local government may not directly or indirectly regulate the terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, the operating systems, qualifications, services, service quality, service territory, and prices, applicable to or in connection with the provision of any voice-over-Internet protocol, regardless of the platform, provider, or protocol, broadband or information service. This section does not relieve a provider from any obligations under s. 166.046 or s. 337.401.
  • Wifi Security

  • In April 2005, a man found sitting in his car in a residential neighborhood piggy backing on wireless networks was arrested after a neighbor grew suspicious.
  • FLA. STAT. ANN. § 815.06 (2006) prohibits unauthorized access to computer network, classified as a third degree felony
  • Dave Gussow, Wireless ‘Mooching’ Raises Issues of Security, Ethics, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, Aug. 1, 2005
  • Man Arrested for Stealing WiFi, CBS News July 7, 2005
  • Rob Kelley, Man Charged with Wireless Trespassing, MONEY, July 7, 2005,
  • Wifi cloaks a new breed of intruder , (July 4, 2005);
  • The case of the stolen Wi-Fi: What you need to know, CW 8/9/2005
  • Floridian Faces Wireless Trespassing Charges, Ecommerce Times 7/8/2005
  • Florida Man Charged With Felony for wardriving, Ars Technica (July 7, 2005)
  • A man in an apartment complex was piggy backing on neighbors networks "in order to access bank information and pay for pornography sites." When purchases that he ordered were delivered to his apartment, he was uncovered. Police found an antenna sticking out his window in order to enhance his reception. Wifi cloaks a new breed of intruder , (July 4, 2005)
  • Cable Open Access