After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans CIO Greg Meffert got downtown businesses back online by opening the city’s 512kbps wireless mesh network — originally deployed to link surveillance cameras — to anyone who needed it - for free. Now, according to Red Herring, BellSouth is lobbying to get the network shut down. The network is technically illegal, under a BellSouth lobbied law, created to thwart municipal broadband deployment of networks faster than 128kbps."The vendors, the BellSouths of this world, are not only going to force us back, making our existing Wi-Fi illegal, but also they want to close a loophole for emergencies so that we would not do this again," says Mr. Meffert.
The Washington Post reported last December that as soon as the city planned to offer the service, BellSouth pulled an offer to donate one of its damaged buildings to be used as a new police station, something BellSouth denied. BellSouth has long waged war against any city wiring itself for broadband, but the battle has been particularly fierce in Louisiana.
A gentle suggestion ... perhaps the law is OK (although I doubt it), but the definition of broadband needs to be brought up to world standards. Change the definition of broadband to 1.5Mbps upstream (and at least 1.5Mbps downstream )... much of the world where broadband exists would consider this laughably slow.
(I once argued that the definition of broadband should be to to send an uncompressed CD - that is about 1.5Mbps)