Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
RCW 9A.52.110 Computer trespass in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the first degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another; and (a) The access is made with the intent to commit another crime; or (b) The violation involves a computer or database maintained by a government agency.
(2) Computer trespass in the first degree is a class C felony.
RCW 9A.52.120 Computer trespass in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the second degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another under circumstances not constituting the offense in the first degree.
(2) Computer trespass in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor.
Washington Exchange Carriers Association v. LocalDial Corporation, Docket UT-031472, Order (WUTC June 11, 2004)
Commission determines that LocalDial uses ordinary phones, local network, so is telecommunications company June 11, 2004 Press Release | Order PDF
LocalDial annoucement transfering business to Marathon: "Due to a recent ruling by the Washington State Utilities Commission, effective Tuesday June 22, 2004, LocalDial Corporation is no longer authorized to offer this service. LocalDial Corporation has selected Marathon as the company best able to continue to support and serve their client base. All network operations, customer support, and billing for LocalDial service subscribers will now be handled by Marathon Communications, Inc."
Stay Order and Order of Referral to WUTC
Washington UTC Webpage WECA v. LocalDial - Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) dispute
"On September 15, 2003, the WUTC received a “Stay Order and Order of Referral to WUTC” from the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma (Washington Exchange Carrier Association, et al. v. LocalDial Corporation, "WECA v. LocalDial").
- Benton | Pop 142k | 40 sq mi | Maverick Wireless | $19.95 / month 128 kbps |
- Douglass County Public Utility District
- Grant County Public Utility District Zipp Network
- Southeast state | Columbia Rural Elec | $40 / month for 256 kbps | wifi |
- Pacific County Public Utility District No 2
- Pasco | Wifi | 32k pop | 28 sq mi | Franklin PUD | City owned network, private ISP in charge of operations. Bar, p. 115 2006
- Seattle | Fiber | CTC Study 2009 " The studies indicated that the cost to the City to construct its own FTTH network would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars – well beyond what was financially feasible. The City believed it would be more prudent to investigate public-private partnership opportunities where a private entity, rather than City taxpayers, would assume financial risk. "
- Benefits Beyond the Balance Sheet: Quantifying the Business Case for Fiber-to-the-Premises in Seattle, Prepared for the City of Seattle, Columbia Telecommunications Corporation (Sept. 2009)
- “The City of Seattle Fiber to the Premises Broadband Network Request for Interest,” May 2006.
- Tacoma | Click! Network | Cable TV, High Speed Internet over Cable | Provided by Tacoma Power | Tacoma Power based service on its plan to build a fiber network to its substations | Partners with 3 ISPs | Up to 6 Mbps down | HarborNet $27/month | Advanced Stream $28/month 1 Mpbs down / 128 kbps up | Net Venture $30 / month 1 Mb up to $60 month for 6 Mb |
- Financials: "September 2004 financials (the utility’s most current published financials) show commercial cable operations with a positive cash flow. If you use the same revenue reporting method that private telecom and cable operators use (EBITDA
– earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), Click! Network’s three commercial lines of business (retail cable TV, wholesale internet services and high-speed data transport services) are operating in the black and revenues are included as income on Tacoma Power’s income statement.”" Ben Scott, Telco Lies and the Truth About Municipal Broadband Networks Free Press, P. 8 April 2005
- Capital Investment: $100 Million. The Need to Permit Broadband from Public Entities, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, p. 50 (May 2006) PDF
- Broadband services started 1997. Established July 1998. Cap Investment Projected $40
mil., now near $100 million. $1,300 investment per household. Cash per household ($192) per sub in 2003. 1996 projection of 25% CATV penetration; today at 32% of homes; ops not yet profitable; raised electric rates 50% in 2000 because of Click!. Municipal Broadband: Digging Beneath the Surface, Balhoff & Rowe, LCC, p. 34 (Sept. 2005)
- I-Net, King County, Seattle
- Revised Code of WA § 54.16.330 : (1) A public utility district in existence on June 8, 2000, may construct, purchase, acquire, develop, finance, lease, license, handle, provide, add to, contract for, interconnect, alter, improve, repair, operate, and maintain any telecommunications facilities within or without the district's limits for the following purposes:
(a) For the district's internal telecommunications needs; and
(b) For the provision of wholesale telecommunications services within the district and by contract with another public utility district.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize public utility districts to provide telecommunications services to end users.
(2) A public utility district providing wholesale telecommunications services shall ensure that rates, terms, and conditions for such services are not unduly or unreasonably discriminatory or preferential. Rates, terms, and conditions are discriminatory or preferential when a public utility district offering rates, terms, and conditions to an entity for wholesale telecommunications services does not offer substantially similar rates, terms, and conditions to all other entities seeking substantially similar services. . . . . .
- Free Press (noting that the restriction is on retail offerings only, and that several municipalities have started to offer services wholesale to parter ISPs)
- Sharon Gillett, Municipal Trends, p. 22 Broadband Properties Sept 2004 (to business-model restrictions. An example of the latter is Washington, which prevents county-
wide Public Utility Districts (but not municipalities) from offering retail services, but allows them to sell wholesale telecommunications services.)
"The company, LocalDial, uses "Voice over Internet Protocol" (VoIP) to provide its service, which allows customers to make long-distance voice calls. WECA collects access charges from long-distance companies for using local telephone company facilities to complete long-distance telephone calls. WECA alleges that LocalDial's business should require it to pay access charges that are set in tariffs filed with the WUTC.
"The court referred the matter to the WUTC to resolve two core questions: Do WECA's access charge tariffs apply to LocalDial's VoIP telephone calls, and, if they do apply, to what extent should the UTC regulate the relatively new VoIP technology? (The court retained jurisdiction over WECA's claim for monetary damages).
Prehearing Order Jan 14, 2004
Rules for Internet telephony challenge regulators, Seattle Times 2003
- Seattle Approves ATT/TCI Merger C|NET, Internet News
- King County: King County Budget Committee expected to approve ATT / TCI merger with open access requirement. (Comm Daily 2/5/99)
- Seattle: Seattle City Council to meet Feb 8 to examine and approve ordinance that would require open cable access. (Comm Daily 2/5/99)
- Seattle area takes on AT&T C|NET 02/11/99
Man reportedly repeatedly returned to a coffee house Brewed Awakenings to piggy back on open wifi network. Coffee house owner grew wearisome, asked him to stop, and then called the police. The police told the man to move on, but he later returned. He was charged with "theft of services" under the criminal trespass statute, but not unauthorized access to computer network under the state's computer trespass statute.
One article notes that the defendant was a registered sex offender. [Saracevic] [Galla]
[Bierlein p 1160 n 188]
- WASH. REV. CODE § 9A.52.120 (2006) (Washington’s computer trespass statute);
- WASH. REV. CODE§ 9A.52.080 (2006) (Washington’s criminal trespass statute).
- Stephanie Rice, Accused Wi-Fi Thief Pleads to Trespass, COLUMBIAN, Aug. 16, 2006, at A1.
- Al Saracevic, In a Froth Over Wifi Theft, San Francisco Chronicle (June 23, 2006)
- Preston Gralla, No Latte with your WiFi, TechSearch Blog (June 22, 2006)
- Gregg Keizer, WiFi user charged for not buying coffee, EETimes (June 22, 2006) ("The charge, which covers such crimes as bypassing a utility meter, stealing cable, and leaving a restaurant without paying, has been used in the past to prosecute hackers who have accessed a computer or network without paying for it.
- WiFi Freeloader Arrested in Washington, Ars Technica (June 22, 2006)
- Evan Blass, Wardriver arrested for snagging coffee shop signal, Engadget June 23, 2006