Thursday, November 01, 2007

Author of California legislation benefitting telcos solicited charitable contributions from Verizon

The Sacramento Bee is reporting California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez solicited $120,000 in contributions to his designated charities from Verizon three months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Núñez's Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 into law.

In addition, the newspaper reports AT&T made three grants of $5,000 apiece last year at Núñez's behest.

The law permits telcos like Verizon and AT&T to offer advanced broadband-based telecommunications services including Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) with a statewide franchise granted by the California Public Utilities Commission. The legislation authored by Núñez, AB 2987, shafted areas outside of urban centers such as Núñez's Los Angeles district because it does not require providers to build out their infrastructures, sanctioning digital redlining and leaving gaping broadband black holes in these areas intact.

A spokesman for Núñez issued the perfunctory denial of any link between the solicitation of Verizon and the legislation.

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