Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

58 Federal Communications Law Journal 683 (2006)


When the Mayor of Philadelphia announced his plan to provide municipally sponsored Wi-Fi Internet access, Verizon, the incumbent telecommunications service provider organized lobbyists to block the plan. The compromise eventually struck between Pennsylvania municipalities and Verizon, which allows municipalities to offer telecommunications services after giving Verizon a right of first refusal has resulted in a certain degree of uncertainty in the future of municipally sponsored Internet access. This Note examines this compromise and argues that it represents an optimistic future for municipally sponsored telecommunications services. The Note first discusses the history of Wi-Fi technology and the development of the law regarding municipally owned telecommunications providers. It then addresses the likelihood that the Philadelphia plan will succeed and the plans implications on telecommunications providers.