Protecting Mom and Pop Telcos
I'm not so sure Verizon is the main focus of this bill.
They are not the only Telco in PA.
D&E Communications (formally Connestoga Telephone)has a VERY profitable niche in PA and PA's legislature has always been protective of them.
Granted Verizon gets a windfall with insane interLATA LD rates but those rates also apply to those small pockets where D&E is the RLEC. (currently at least $.25/minute for calls from another LATA)
This was a real cash cow for Connestoga Telephone.
DSL service from Connestoga was not available to most Connestoga subscribers and it was expensive and poorly staffed.
Pennsylvania is a real dichotomy.
The state consists of two major urban centers while the rest of the state is mostly rural.
Most of the time the legislature votes against bills that favor Pitts. and Phila.
It was extremely rare to have a former Phila mayor elected as Governor.
The majority of the state's voters are always wary of "big city" politics.
On the other hand I have confidence the Fast Eddie (AKA Gov. Rendell) will veto this bill if he feels that Wi-Fi would benefit the City of Philadelphia.
As former DA and Mayor of Philadelphia I really feel Fast Eddie's heart still belongs to the City.
However PA does not have the funds to finance the deal nor does the city as evidenced by the recent round of nuisance taxes levied on PA's automobile owners to keep public transportation afloat in The Greater Philadelphia Area.
As already mentioned the vast majority of PA residents are not happy paying those kind of "municipal welfare" taxes.
I know I am getting a little boring stating this but Philadelphia does not have the funds for this project nor will they at have any time in the near future so this discussion may be moot.