Utility Stalling Muni WiFi, But It's Not A Telco
from the be-a-shame-if-these-packets-were-to-get-dropped dept
We've seen plenty of cases before where incumbent utilities have done their best to stymie municipal broadband projects (unless they can profit from it, of course). Typically, it's a telco or cable company trying to put up the obstacles, but in southern California, it's the electric company. As Glenn Fleishman notes, just because a municipality might control an area's utility poles, it may not control who supplies power to them -- and in several cities around Los Angeles, that's Southern California Edison Co., which says it needs to "understand the technology better" before it starts providing the power to WiFi access points on utility poles. What's so difficult to understand about a piece of equipment that draws a consistent amount of power on par with a reading lamp? In one city, where a year of discussions have been fruitless, the company told officials they might be able to come to some sort of agreement if they paid rates on par with what cellular carriers pay to hang their antennas on utility poles, a quite reasonable $2,000 a month, compared to the $36 per year one WiFi provider cites as the average rate it pays. Other than the obvious greed, it's hard to figure out exactly why the company could be stalling: indifference, incompetence or perhaps some telco-style roadblocking in an attempt to boost some future broadband over power line offering?