Giving The Homeless VoWiFi?

Tucked in near the end of the latest Cringely piece is this bizarre notion that the city of San Francisco should give ever homeless person a donated PocketPC and a $5 Vonage softphone account that would work over whatever WiFi network they were near. Now, the idea of giving the homeless phones isn’t completely ridiculous – as Cisco has been donating voicemail systems the homeless can use so they can give out a phone number when they apply for jobs. However, Cringely simply assumes that $5/month for Vonage service is “within the financial capabilities of even the homeless in San Francisco.” Seems like quite an assumption to make (along with the idea that there are all these donated PocketPCs to be handed out). Sure, phone service would be nice, and it would be great if it were cheap using systms like VoWiFi, but to simply assume that they would value this more than other things (food?) seems ridiculous.

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