Ask Todd Baxter to Support Public Wireless

Mar 23 update: Todd Baxter came through!

This week, the Texas legislature will hold committee hearings for the anti-wireless bill. The committee members will determine whether the provisions to outlaw municipal networks will be stricken or preserved.

Representative Todd Baxter from Austin sits on that comittee. It's been reported that Rep. Baxter has not been supportive of the efforts to remove this restriction. We need to get him the information to understand why the anti-wireless provisions are bad for Austin and bad for business.

Here in Austin, the push for public access is spearheaded by private organizations such as Austin Wireless City and Austin Free-Net. The City has not been building significant infrastructure or spending many tax dollars on wireless, just errecting the odd access point here and there. Nonetheless, the city has been deeply involved in the effort to provide public access, and HB 789 will cause significant harm.

The City has been a strong partner with these organizations all along the way. A large part of the credibility and success of Austin Wireless City comes from its partnership with the City. This partnership doesn't harm the incumbent communication providers—the force behind HB 789. This partnership brings them more business.

The anti-wireless provisions of HB 789 jeopardize that partnership, and may even jeopardize the free public wi-fi that has become an integral part of the Austin landscape.

If Todd Baxter is your state representative, it is critical that you let him know that you support public wireless, and ask him to strike the anti-wireless provisions from HB 789.

Please see the Save Muni Wireless action alert for more information.