Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:40am
THIS IS WHY WI-FI
[SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , AUTHOR: Editorial Staff]
[Commentary] Politicians are on the verge of controlling Internet access.
Municipalities worldwide are creating wireless Internet services that promise universal accessibility. Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) virtually guarantees to be fast, free and far-flung with construction costs paid for by government-approved providers. But government's main motivation is self-interest, according to business consultant Craig Settles, author of "Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless: Applying lessons from Philadelphia's WiFi story." Wi-Fi can eliminate paper work while improving worker productivity. Wi-Fi hype is like cable TV's nascent "Blue Sky" period in the late 1960s when its potential seemed limitless. Well before fat franchise fees paid to local governments for the respective monopolies ensured that captive audiences of subscribers would get miserable cable service if they got any at all. Politicians having de facto control of Internet access -- to tax Wi-Fi users, prioritize service or hire political hacks for customer service -- make "Blue Sky" pale in comparison.
See also --
* Only 6 Million US Homes Will Have Access to Municipal Broadband
[SOURCE: Strategy Analytics press release]
June 12, 2006--Public broadband networks planned by major cities and smaller municipalities could provide access to as many as six million homes within five years, predicts a new report from technology research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics. Despite heated rhetoric for and against, municipal broadband will play only a small role in the rapidly growing US broadband market, with incumbent telecom and cable operators still attracting the vast majority of consumers. This report, "Municipal Broadband in the US: How Real a Threat to Incumbent Operators?" projects that by 2010 about five percent of all US households, some six million homes, will be able to access broadband networks operated by cities, towns and other municipalities. But with prices for commercial broadband services continuing to decline, only a small number of households will be likely to rely on low-cost or free public networks as their primary source of Internet access.
* Faster Wi-Fi Hits Hurdles
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Don Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org]
Today's wireless networks struggle with some jobs, such as sending high-definition video signals from a personal computer to a television set. Companies have been racing for years to fix the problem. But they can't agree on whether the race is over. Computer equipment makers this spring introduced devices incorporating a faster version of Wi-Fi, the wireless technology commonplace in laptop computers. But chips in those devices were based on interpretations of an unfinished set of technology specifications. Among the results: The new devices often can't communicate with one another at their intended top speeds. The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry organization that tries to ensure products work together, is withholding its endorsement of any of the new products until a formal standard is approved -- a milestone not expected until next year.
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- Companies That Fought Cities On Wi-Fi Now Rush to Join In
- Markup: S. 2686, the Communications, Consumers' Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006
- EarthLink vs. City of Philadelphia
- Glimpse of Wi-Fi Networks to Come?
- Barton Shielding Telecom Bill From House Judiciary Panel
- S. 2686, Communications Reform Bill Hearing III