Public Wi-Fi: Made up my mind.

So, I've finally come around to the idea that these attempts by cities to own broadband Wi-Fi networks in cities is just not a great idea. I like some of the ultimate effects, but not at the cost it would apparently take.

What was the deciding factor? This paper by the Heartland Institute (back in my ol' stomping grounds of Illinois).

A municipal broadband network may start service by charging �competitive� or even below-market fees, but once full-spectrum (DSL, cable, and wireless) competition arrives, prices for access will fall to the cities� operating costs or less, leaving them unable to pay off the bonds issued to cover the up-front investment in fiber. Businesses and residents cannot be treated as captive customers and charged more than what competitors would charge, first because of the existence of technological alternatives to the fiber-optic network and second because municipalities are barred from subsidizing their public telecommunications enterprises. Bankruptcy is a likely scenario.

I know, everyone was just dying to hear how I'd come down on this.

Anyway, it's an interesting read.


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This page contains a single entry by published on October 22, 2004 2:28 PM.

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