Ticked-Off Citizen Ending City Hall's Internet Hookup

Palo Alto losing free connection after approving cell tower
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 5:30 PM CDT
Palo Alto's city hall is looking for a new Internet connection.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Palo Alto's government ticked off the wrong citizen, and now it's looking for a new Internet connection for city hall and other buildings. As the San Jose Mercury News explains, the trouble began when the city gave tentative approval for construction of a cell phone tower at a church across the street from the home of Stephen Stuart. He just happens to be the guy who's gotten the city free Internet access for years through a nonprofit consortium where he volunteers.

Stuart maintains the tower violates city codes and will bring down property values, but his arguments fell on deaf ears. As revenge, he got the consortium to cut off Internet access, effective April 14. "This isn't a threat," he said. "This is a consequence." The city manager is pursuing alternative connections while holding out hope for a change of heart. (He notes that the tower's application hasn't quite made it through the full city process.) "As city manager, I need to make sure we have Internet access."

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