No Free Internet in Texas

Michelle on Right in Texas wonders why some want to ban cities from providing free internet access in Texas. Could it be McCain-Feingold?

UPDATE: Looks like I was way, way off base with this explanation. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texas legislator sponsoring the bill is Republican Phil King. King’s says that when municipalities provide free internet access they screw up the free market.

King’s basic objection, Trainor said, stands — in a free-market system it’s not acceptable to let public government compete with private businesses

To a degree, I understand and concur. If wireless internet access providers are shut out of major markets in Texas, rural residence may not have internet access at all. It’s complicated, but things like internet access and cable television generate higher returns in areas with higher population densities. Since the cities most likely to provide free access would be the largest, richest, and most dense, rural communities who cannot afford to provide the service would be left to turn to private providers. Without the high profits of the big cities, rural residents would have to pay a disproportionatly high rate for the services.