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Charles Barr

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July 2016: "Webpass is a competitive ISP working to provide gigabit access in San Francisco, San Diego, and three other markets. Its president, Charles Barr, is deeply frustrated: “Tenants want us, but we can’t get in” he says. “The market for Internet access doesn’t work, because there aren’t a lot of choices for people.” Without permission from a landlord, a competitive ISP can’t enter the building to provide service. But the landlords are locked up. “There’s got to be a way around this,” Barr says, and he’s asking for a new compact among cities and ISPs that would ensure this access happens — what he’s calling an “Internet Franchise” — a set of standardized city ordinances and statutes aimed at giving residents choices. If a consumer wants access to a service, then that provider should be able to get into the building, subject to reasonable technical limitations. (After I interviewed Barr, Webpass was acquired by Google Fiber.)"


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Founder/Co-Founder of Former Owner of (partial or full) Webpass Organization Jul 3, 2016

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 27, 2016 Dear Landlord: Don’t Rip Me Off When it Comes To Internet Access When building owners get kickbacks from big providers it’s the tenants who lose

QUOTE: Water and heat are regulated utilities. But when it comes to Internet access, people in apartments (called Multiple Dwelling Units, or MDUs) often have the worst of both worlds: all the limitations of a utility framework — no competition, no choices — with zero protections for consumers. That means unconstrained pricing. Network operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, in cahoots with developers and landlords, routinely use a breathtaking array of kickbacks, lawyerly games of Twister, blunt threats, and downright illegal activities to lock up buildings in exclusive arrangements.