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Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Wireless San Francisco

The news of San Francisco building a city-wide wireless network is getting a lot of attention these days. Broadbandreports runs several stories on this. While broadbandreports itself is a proponent of municipal broadband, I am surprise that the news draw torrents of criticism from readers. Many reject this because it is a 'liberal' thing. Other took the line of incumbent telcos that existing access methods is preferable to a public project.

While I think many posting are nothing but political fervent, I am also disappointed that people do not see the potential of universal connectivity as a big step forward (a departure from the usually 'hypish' technology sector). I have posted my reaction, which I include here:


Reader's post

Disgusting

It is pathetic how the flaming Left in this country has confused the term "right" and "entitlement." Sure, everyone has a "right" to Wifi. There is nothing stopping you from working, earning some money and buying the needed tools yourself. Its no different than there being a right to free speech and free press. Does this mean the government is required to provide you with the means to exercise those rights? Of course not.

Some other posters here have mentioned guns. Under Mayor Newsom's reasoning, the right to gun ownership requires that the government give free guns out to everyone.

My response

There is nothing stopping you from working, earning some money and buying the needed tools yourself.

True. There is also nothing to stop private entities to build railroads and toll roads and then charge everyone a use fee either. Just like what the country did a century ago. Do you find it disgusting that the government took it upon themselves to build roads and offer it for free to people?

Look there are no lack of proposals from commercial companies to offer the service, apparently costing the city little. People get access in the parks and schools and cafe and hopefully all pocket of households that do not yet have access. I don't understand what the objection is. Do you have a better proposal?

3G, if it is available at all, would cost a bundle. Imagine now that there is universal wireless access. You go to a shop and look at an item. You'll pull your PDA or cellphone and do a search on the UNC code. Immediately it turns out a list of reviews, links to other outlets, and recommendation for alternatives or accessories you'll need. You'd IM your wife. Once she sees the picture she'd told you you got the wrong stuff again! That's new commerce that will be enabled by universal access! You'd bet Google is working on that already!

You'd think broadband report readers are a bunch of smart guys. But when it comes to public project all the anti-government ideology would just overcome their judgement. Guys I'm off to hack the next big thing for the future of universal connectivity. Go on with your anti-government bashing.

2005.10.04 [, , ] - comments

 

Municipal broadband

A great interview about Municipal broadband from broadbandreports.com (formerly dslreports.com). Let down by the pitiful "broadband" services provided by incumbent cable and phone companies, legal expert Jim Baller put forward an alternative, municipal broadband. He assert that municipal is in a great position to provide broadband connectivity that private corporations has failed to deliver. And that we should expect superior services such as truly high bandwidth with FTTH (Fiber To The Home) and universal access to communities deem unprofitable for private companies.

Can we trust the government to provide connectivity services instead of private companies? Jim look back to the history of electrification of the United States. When the technology was first invented in the late 19th century, private power companies were concentrating on providing services to the most profitable metropolitan areas. Countless small communities were literally left in the dark. They wired themselves by establishing public utilities. Despite being discredited by the commercial interests, public utilities in general faired well and provides reliable services at an affordable price.

How can municipalities accomplish what private sector could not? Jim explained that local government have different goals and are not tied to producing short term profit as in private sector. Instead they see this as an vital infrastructure for the economic development. Even if the service does not turn a profit it can be justified by the benefits they add to the society.

2003.05.22 [] - comments

 

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