Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wireless as a city service? -- can you say TVA?

Another article on city-wide wireless access. Some cities don't want to wait for the for-profit providers to get around to doing this. In some cases they see lack of ubiquitous wireless as a block on economic progress. Businesses might not stay in your city if you can't provide access.
"We look at this as another utility just like water, sewer, parks and recreation, that our communities should have," said St. Cloud, Florida, Mayor Glen Sangiovanni, who hopes to provide free wireless service to the entire city by the fall.
Needless to say the commercial providers are not happy. Some states have passed laws banning cities from doing this.

Apparently the feds are making this easier by providing funds for cities to upgrade emergency communication systems (homeland security) and the jump to wireless for the people is not that expensive from there.

Once again we find that intentions don't always match up with intended consequences. Think National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 and the critical role that the Interstate Highway plays in the national economy now. (oh yeah, and think of the role that standards have played in making possible. plus que ca change)

**I can't seem to get a link in the title so ... See wikipedia on TVA

1 comment:

esm said...

Intentions (municipality revenue stream from subcriptions, attracting and keeping municipal business customers) and consequence ("backlash from big vendor" -- what are other consequences here? legal?) need to play out over the next couple of years. It took at least that long for the consequenses of the interstate system to play out.

Big vendors not moving fast enough to fill a need/gap. And kudos to the municipalities for effectivly locking them out of markets.

Its interesting that they argue that wireless is a utility like water or electricity.

I wonder a) how much money philly is spending on the project and b) what they will charge people? And of course what will be the legal outcomes...