Free Press Fights Sessions Bill

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Media activist group Free Press has launched an e-mail campaign opposing a new bill that would prevent local governments from offering broadband service in competition to private companies except to "remedy market failures."

The bill, introduced late last month by Texas Republican and former Southwestern Bell executive Rep. Pete Sessions, would "take away the right of cities and towns across the country to provide citizens with universal, low-cost Internet access,” says Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver, who urged members to sign an online petition that would be forwarded to their representative.

Specifically, the bill says that "Neither any State or local government, nor any entity affiliated with such a government, shall provide any telecommunications, telecommunications service, information service, or cable service in any geographic area within the jurisdiction of such government in which a corporation or other private entity that is not affiliated with any State or local government is offering a substantially similar service.

The bill has been referred to the House Commerce Committee.

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