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Supreme Smackdown on Municipal Telecom

In what could be a blow to the rollout of fiberoptics-to-the-home, the Supreme Court has ruled that states can stop cities and towns from going into the telecommunications business. The court upheld a Missouri law prohibiting municipalities from offering local…
March 25, 2004

In what could be a blow to the rollout of fiberoptics-to-the-home, the Supreme Court has ruled that states can stop cities and towns from going into the telecommunications business. The court upheld a Missouri law prohibiting municipalities from offering local telecom services. At least eight other states have similar laws to the Missouri one. The decision was a victory for SBC Communications and other local phone companies, which were supported by the FCC. In response to the 8-1 ruling, SBC (the country’s second-largest local phone company) issued a statement saying that local governments should focus their energies on foster ing competition among private communications companies, rather than becoming telecom providers themselves. The trouble, as Jeff Hecht reported on TechnologyReview.com in December, is that–particularly in rural areas–telecom companies have had their chance to provide technologically up-to-date service and have generally fallen short. In fact, while big telecom companies have dithered, municipal utilities in place like Grant County, WA, and Kutztown, PA, are pushing bandwidth-rich fiberoptics to the home.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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