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Public service and private enterprise are clashing in Salem, Oregon, where the city council voted 5-4 September 30 to end home pages for all but government agencies and nonprofit organizations on the Oregon Public Electronic Network (OPEN).
Created by the Salem and Marion County Data Center, OPEN operates through the public library, offering free Internet access and low-cost accounts to patrons, a practice that the Salem Chamber of Commerce and local Internet access suppliers have challenged as unfair competition. Despite the new restrictions, however, the service remains essentially intact.
The council decision, which requires that Web pages be down by March 31 of next …