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A quiz, but seriously...

Sorry, no fancy quiz gizmos for this one. Here's the question:

Do you think that municipalities should be building WiFi network for their citizens?

If you feel like writing more than a yes or no, I'd love to read it.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
half_elf_lost
Feb. 9th, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
Sorry my friend, but no. Perhaps for a thriving city with money to burn, but not most.

Giving the finite availability of resources ($$$), I think that municipalities need to focus on higher-level quality of life issues like reducing hunger and crime, and ensuring affordable housing and transportation. While it could be argued that WiFi networks could have a "trickle down" effect in helping those items, I don't think that would happen directly enough to justify the cost compared to the necessities listed above.
also_huey
Feb. 9th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
That's the practical, sensible answer, and one that I agree with. In a perfect world, hey, free wifi for everybody and blowjobs for my women, but little things like "who's gonna pay for it" is the first issue, and assuming you solve that, you got stuff like "who's gonna run it" and "who's going to secure it" and "who's gonna track down the people abusing it", all of which are problems that some for-profit ISPs still haven't managed to solve yet.
half_elf_lost
Feb. 9th, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's me: practical.

I was going to ramble on a bit more about letting the free market try and make a go of it (and the city could control access to its wealthy areas and compel the company offering WiFi to ensure is available throughout).

But municipalities getting into the WiFi business? Most cities can't get snowplowing, rat control, and garbage pickup done right. WiFi still falls into the "nice to have", not "must have" yet.
also_huey
Feb. 10th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
Many cities can't get education or policing done right. I think the priorities should probably be weighted a little more heavily towards "nobody starves" and "nobody gets shot" than they are towards "nobody doesn't have broadband access", or "nobody has to shovel their own street".
netcurmudgeon
Feb. 10th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
I think that part of the logic -- at least, part of it in Hartford -- is that people need jobs. And then, the powers that be start working backward from that. They come to "if we can give them high-tech skills, they can get jobs" and work further along to "we need to build a city-wide WiFi network".

Back in the early stages of exploring the "Hartford WiFi" idea I did a cost workup. I estimated that it would cost $5,400,000 to build a city-wide network, and $1,000,000 a year to maintain it (not counting Internet access, helpdesk, low-cost PCs, or training classes). I wonder if Hartford wouldn't get more bang for the buck by running a $10M "WPA" style works program over five years. It would cost the same, but employ a heck of a lot more people. Of course, the city doesn't have $5.4M, let alone $10M.
half_elf_lost
Feb. 10th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)
Oopsie. I forgot about edukation. lol
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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