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Bill aims to support city-run Wi-Fi networks

City-run broadband networks would get the green light under a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

City-run broadband networks like Philadelphia's Wi-Fi scheme would get the green light under a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

The Community Broadband Act of 2005, co-sponsored by Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and John McCain, R-Ariz., would allow local governments the option of setting up their own broadband networks, provided they did so "without discrimination in favor of itself or any advanced telecommunications services provider that it owns."

The measure counters a bill proposed last month by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, which proposed barring state and local governments from supplying Internet, telecommunications or cable hookups if a private company offers a "substantially similar service."