Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wireless Waking Up

Just a small moment in the maturity of broadband advocates: MuniWireless, Muniwireless is saying:

What I see in a lot of cities is that politicians are using “Wi-Fi for low income communities” as a cheap and easy way out of their real obligation, which is to take leadership for laying down a robust, open telecommunications infrastructure (based on fiber) that benefits everyone, not just low-income people. That’s harder to do, and certainly more politically risky, since that means going up against various communications incumbents that fund political campaigns, and pissing off people who have a stake in keeping things the way they are. (emphasis mine)

The context is Houston where a classic "free" municipal WiFi plan crashed and burned leaving Houston without the network it had contracted. Esme Vos at MuniWireless is distressed because the city isn't holding the private provider to the contract in a way that would meaningfully meet the goals of the contract.

That, in the end, necessarily means substantial fiber as now apparently even the most ardent of the muni wireless fans understand.

Good for her. And good for the movement. Maturity is a useful thing to have.

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