Thanks for sending this Richard. I've been a bit
behind in my emails but this topic is one of
particular interest to me. I founded a public wireless
start up back in 2002 and noted government
intervention as a major risk on the business plan. An
unfortunate prophesy that has since come true.
The most disturbing aspect of this initiative is the
lack of dissention from nearly everyone. "How could
free wireless be bad for anyone?". Fortunately, there
was a lively debate on KQED last Friday that
specifically addressed the question 'Is public wifi
the proper role of government?'. The ISP industry rep.
made a solid libertarian argument against muni wifi
with very weak rebuttal from the pro camp. In fact,
the SF telecom director wank, escaped from the
interview after 30 minutes. I think he knew he had
(audio archive here -
I would encourage everyone to listen, whether or not
you are interested in wifi or not.
In fact, I would go as far to propose the LPSF get
actively involved in countering this intrusion on the
basis that this is a new government intrusion that
should be stopped now before it gets started. Attempts
to dereg existing industries such as muni and cabs are
much more difficult, in my opinion.
Back in the early part of the last century, the FCC
easily clamped down on radio and TV, largely because
the masses at the time did not realize the social
impact such technologies would have in the future. I
can assure everyone here that wireless broadband is of
even greater significance.
In any event, if anyone on this list does have
interest in this now, let me know asap. I am working
on a counter website to www.muniwireless.com and could
use some help.
--- Richard Newell <richard@...> wrote:
from Reason Alert - October 21, 2005...
Life, Liberty and Wi-Fi in San Francisco
"Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness - oh, and
high-speed Internet access, too. Broadband Internet
access is so important to Mayor Gavin Newsom that he
recently declared it a "fundamental right," one that
City Hall must provide to the people of San
Francisco. After the city solicited bids from two
dozen companies to blanket The City with cheap and
fast Internet service, Google offered to do the job
for free. The tech titan plans to make money by
selling ads and offering service upgrades.Local
leaders can clamor for free Wi-Fi, but enthusiasm is
no substitute for expertise. We shouldn't expect
cites, many of which have trouble filling potholes,
to dive into this dog-eat-dog industry and keep
their heads above water." - In the San Francisco
Examiner, Reason's Ted Balaker explains why San
Francisco shouldn't become an Internet Service