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West Virginia Won't Release Broadband Report Because It Is 'Embarrassing'

linefeed0 Re:West Virginia is the butt... (183 comments)

Verizon sold their (2g/3g, dunno about the 4g stuff) frequencies in half the state (the northern/northeastern half) to US Cellular. Those were B-side (or A-side, i forget which, it's the one originally handed out to incumbent wireline LECs) allocations in the 800 MHz blocks back in the 80s. Bell Atlantic had them, but didn't keep them -- there, or in the western panhandle of Maryland either (and in MD they are wireline ILEC for the entire state, no exceptions). So it's not that they were outbid; they unloaded them deliberately. They wanted the cash to serve a more lucrative market. They kept all the Pennsyltucky ones though; I guess Bell of PA was a better funded division than C&P back then.

That half of the state is pretty much served only by US Cellular and AT&T, with a smattering of nTelos/Sprint near major highways. And that's before you get to the radio quiet zone near the VA border. Ain't nobody got time to keep hundreds of cell towers from interfering in any way whatsoever with the radio telescopes in Green Bank, or the ECHELON spy station in Sugar Grove. (So actually, you sort of *can* blame bad wireless service in a few counties directly on the NSA here.)

about a year and a half ago
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Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Spam Law

linefeed0 Yes, the law is vague. (255 comments)

And to some degree it was dangerously vague. It is not a straw man to be concerned about laws barring anonymity. Plenty of high-level computer policy people have wanted to ban anonymous posting for reasons having nothing to do with spam, or with the cost of transmitting the messages in question. If the reason anonymity were restricted were because of spurious claims anonymous posting helps terrorists, or because politicians didn't like being criticized anonymously, I doubt many here would be defending the law.

Virginia has recently tended to be the kind of place that such technocratic prescriptions, which combine right-wing goals with decidedly non-libertarian means (see also UCITA), take root in the legislature, and I'm glad the court rooted them out.

Another thing to note is that Virginia is not a "blue pencil" state. Contracts in VA cannot be modified by the courts unless there is a clear severability provision which describes what the basic bargaining units of the contract are. Part of the reason for this is that it is for the people who have made the contract, not the court, to decide how the value in the contract balances out when line items are changed. Thus the rule is "when in doubt, throw it out". Whether or not this is the right approach, many states around the country do it this way (and many also don't). This is a law, not a contract, but it is consistent with the "no blue pencil" doctrine for the court to just throw the whole law back to the legislature to fix it rather than trying to rewrite it.

By the way, I'm not a lawyer, I only play one on Slashdot.

more than 5 years ago

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