Federal Internet Law & Policy
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Pennsylvania Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
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Pennsylvania Statute Title 18 § 3933 . Unlawful use of computer.

(a) Offense defined.-- A person commits the offense of unlawful use of a computer if he, whether in person, electronically or through the intentional distribution of a computer virus:

  1. accesses , exceeds authorization to access, alters, damages or destroys any computer, computer system, computer network , computer software, computer program or data base or any part thereof, with the intent : to interrupt the normal functioning of an organization or to devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud or deceive or control property or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises;
  2. intentionally and without authorization accesses , alters, interferes with the operation of, damages or destroys any computer, computer system, computer network , computer software, computer program or computer data base or any part thereof;
  3. intentionally or knowingly and without authorization gives or publishes a password, identifying code, personal identification number or other confidential information about a computer, computer system, computer network or data base.
intentionally or knowingly engages in a scheme or artifice, including, but not limited to, a denial of service attack, upon any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, computer server or data base or any part thereof that is designed to block, impede or deny the access of information or initiation or completion of any sale or transaction by users of that computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, computer server or data base or any part thereof.

Municipal Broadband

Change is in the Airwaves: A Documentary about the Philadelphia Wireless Initiative from George Rausch on Vimeo.
  • Philadelphia
  • Wireless Philadelphia
  • 2009 Network Acquisition Company sold network to City of Philadelphia
  • 2008 Earthlink sold network to Network Acquisition Company
  • Business Plan PDF
  • Agreement between Wireless Philadelphia and Earthlink
  • Network Agreement Exhibits
  • Exhibit N: Open Access Provisions - Earthlink shall wholesale capacity to qualified and certified 3rd party ISPs. Earthlink shall also have a resale program.
  • Network Design
  • Network Agreement Exhibit G
  • Earthlink Municipal Broadband :: Technical Overview
  • "EarthLink will implement a 135-square-mile, city-wide Wi-Fi mesh network, which is expected to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2006. The network is intended to provide:
  • Inexpensive, high-speed Internet access;
  • Open access for multiple, competing service providers;
  • Roaming capabilities for providers of hot spot access;
  • Free Internet access in some parks and public spaces;
  • Daily and weekly access for occasional users and visitors;
  • Small business connectivity and serve as a wireless T-1 alternative.
  • Under the terms of the proposal, no City or taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the project. EarthLink will finance, build and manage the wireless network, and provide Wireless Philadelphia with revenue sharing fees to help support the Wireless Philadelphia Non-Profit Corporation."

  • Wireless Philadelphia Update Dec. 15, 2005 - Talking Points
  • Timeline
  • March 2006 15 sq Mile Proof of Concept to be initiated
  • State and Local Issues and Municipal Networks Senate Commerce Committee February 14 2006
  • Mr. Donald Berryman Earthlink: EarthLink will deploy and manage a 135 sq. mile wireless network providing broadband Internet to the entire City and County of Philadelphia.... EarthLink will build, own and manage the wireless network, at no cost to the City, while providing Wireless Philadelphia a revenue share to fund its operation. And, EarthLink has guaranteed network upgrades on an ongoing basis. This is not a case of “taxpayer funded” competition, and will not lead to taxpayer funded bailouts. Nor is it funded by tax-free bonds. EarthLink is bearing the risk of constructing this network.... The initial service offering will be a symmetric One Megabit per second (1 Mbps) service, which is about fifty times as fast as a dial-up connection. It’s nearly as fast as a typical DSL line for downloads, and is actually faster than most of today’s broadband services when uploading data. Once we have the initial service deployed, we expect to offer higher tiered services up to several times that fast, and we will upgrade the network over time so that ever higher speeds are enabled as new technology becomes available. EarthLink supports Open Access to third-party Internet service retailers and “Net Neutrality.” So, the project will provide opportunities for many local companies to resell broadband access service that they purchase at competitive wholesale rates.
  • EarthLink supports Open Access to third-party Internet service retailers and “Net Neutrality.” So, the project will provide opportunities for many local companies to resell broadband access service that they purchase at competitive wholesale rates. As the third broadband entrant in this market, we embrace competition as a way to make use of our network more attractive. And the same is true for “Net Neutrality.” We view this as the best way to ensure that our platform is viewed as the most consumer and innovation friendly platform.
  • Earthklink Municipal Broadband
  • Ms. Dianah Neff City of Philadelphia
  • Notes
  • City Philadelphia sat on an RCN application to offer competitive Internet over Cable broadband services.
  • Stephen Lawson, Philadelphia Plans to Buy Its Wi-Fi Network, PCWORLD (Dec. 18, 2009, 5:20 PM),
  • Glenn Fleishman, Philadelphia Will Buy Former EarthLink Wi-Fi Network, WI-FI NET NEWS (Dec. 16, 2009)
  • Chloe Albanesius, Philadelphia Repurchases City Wi-Fi Network for $2M, PC MAG. (Dec. 21, 2009),
  • Wireless Philadelphia Reboots to Bring Wi-Fi to the Masses, PHILA. BUS. J. (Jan. 5, 2009, 12:00 AM),
  • Ben Madgett, Philadelphia: Salvaging the Future of Municipal Wireless, REPORT BUYER (Apr. 3, 2008),
  • Philadelphia revives Wi-Fi project, Globe and Mail 6/18/2008
  • We're not dead yet: local investors save Philadelphia Wi-Fi network?, muni 6/18/2008
  • Philadelphia Wireless Internet Project Advances, eweek 5/25/2007
  • EarthLink gets green light to build Philadelphia Wi-Fi network, CW 5/25/2007
  • Joshua Breitbart, The Philadelphia Story: Learning from a Municipal Wireless Pioneer, NEW AM. FOUND., 9 (Dec. 11, 2007), .
  • PA To Overturn Muni-Thwarting Law? - Lancaster wants citywide Wi-Fi, moves to eliminate Verizon bill, Broadband Reports 3/1/2007
  • Philadelphia city council OKs Wi-Fi plan, Network World 5/12/2006
  • Philadelphia Counts Down To Citywide Wireless, Networking Pipeline 5/5/2006
  • Wireless Philadelphia-EarthLink contract: an analysis, Muniwireless 4/18/2006
  • Philly moves forward with Wi-Fi plan, CNET 3/2/2006
  • Philadelphia To Offer Wi-Fi For Under $20 Per Month, Networking Pipeline 3/2/2006
  • Publicly-owned Broadband Much Better for Minneapolis, Free Press 1/13/2006
  • Earthlink to build Philadelphia wireless network, Reuters 10/5/2005
  • Philadelphia chooses three finalists for city network, Muni 7/22/2005
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 's Keystone Communications Project
  • New life for Philly WiFi, CNET 12/3/2004
  • 'Wireless Philadelphia' Sparks Concern, InternetNews 12/3/2004
  • Philly sells Pennsylvania to Verizon, Register 12/3/2004
  • Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh City Council Considers Citywide Wi-Fi, WPXI 4/12/2006
  • Opponents
  • Verizon*
  • Law (Note: PA is one of the few states that does not maintain a copy of its laws online)
  • Pennsylvania H.B. 30, SESS. OF 2003 § 3014 (H) (2003) (as amended on third consideration, in Senate, Nov. 18, 2004, signed into law Nov. 30, 2004) House Bill 30 must offer an incumbent telecom company a right of first refusal.
  • Free Press (read this summary - trying to read HB 30 will give you a need for asprin)
  • political subdivisions prohibited from providing advanced telecom or broadband for a fee to the public unless the local telco does not provide such service and has refused to provide such service as requested. APPA Sept 2005
  • Opposition to law
  • APPA Letter to Governor
  • News
  • Fallout from Pennsylvania House Bill 30, Muni 12/7/2004
  • Verizon wins, Pennsylvania loses, Muni 12/3/2004
  • Verizon deal lets Philadelphia move with wireless plan, NWFusion 12/3/2004
  • Pennsylvania Limits Cities in Offering Net Access, NYT 12/3/2004
  • Papers
  • Jon M. Peha, Wireless Pittsburgh : Sustainability of Possible Models for a Wireless Metropolitan Area Network , Feb. 2008.
  • News
  • Philadelphia city council committee approves purchase of citywide Wi-Fi network, Muni 6/11/2010
  • PA AG's Twitter Subpoena Also Told Twitter It Couldn't Reveal Subpoena's Existence, Techdirt 6/9/2010
  • Pennsylvania AG Dropping Twitter Subpoena, Wired 5/25/2010
  • Pennsylvania AG Drops Twitter Subpoena, Techdirt 5/25/2010
  • Philadelphia Buys Wi-Fi Network - What a long strange trip it's been, dslreports 12/18/2009
  • VoIP

    Trials and Market Deployments

  • Comcast trial western Philly Launched 1Q 2003.  Also reportedly in Coatesville.
  • Cablecos Set Sights on VoIP, Xchange February 1, 2004; Cable Players Tap Vendors for VoIP Service Rollouts, Telephony Online Jun 2, 2003; 'Friendlies' Turned On In Comcast VoIP Trial, Multichannel news March 17, 2003; Balancing Responsibilities and Rights: A Regulatory Model for Facilities-Based VoIP Competition An NCTA Policy Paper February 2004 Merrill Lynch, Everything Over IP (March 12, 2004)
  • AT&T AT&T stops signing trial customers for local service, Pittsburg Business Times Nov 21, 2000
  • Announced Lauching 50% of market in 2005 as primary line service.
  • Philadelphia RCN Launched 2002 Merrill Lynch, Everything Over IP (March 12, 2004)
  • Cable Open Access