WiFi Waste Report Actually A Big Waste Itself

from the nice-work-there dept

Pacific Research Institute is an advocacy organization hasn’t been shy in its absolute hatred of muni-WiFi networks (and given who funds it, that’s not surprising). However, that hatred of municipal WiFi has long contributed to a bizarre blindness to actual facts. For example, their “director of technology studies” continues to trash municipal WiFi through descriptions that simply aren’t accurate, often ignoring that most of the plans we see today are actually privately, not publicly, funded. The latest is that the group has come out with a new report trashing municipal WiFi. Now, we haven’t been shy in suggesting that WiFi is not the best technology for muni networks, but that doesn’t mean that questionable research should be supported. Glenn Fleishman takes apart PRI’s report, noting that it studied a grand total of 3 municipal WiFi networks and uses data that stops in 2004 — which is quite a long time ago. The report also trots out the anti-muni network favorite, Tacoma, Washington, as a failure — despite further studies that have shown its municipal network has been something of a success. There’s nothing wrong with debating whether or not the technology makes sense or if a muni network makes sense in specific cases, but condemning all attempts based on such a small sample size using such outdated data just seems like pointless sensationalism.


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Comments on “WiFi Waste Report Actually A Big Waste Itself”

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9 Comments
Karl (user link) says:

Well...

“My question is who actually believes the crap put out by sock puppets like that? Is it really that effective?”

It’s actually quite effective. I’ve been watching these groups for the better part of a decade, and you’d be amazed how easily these reports get gobbled up by Reuters or AP and wind up in papers all across America as objective fact.

Joe Public browses his paper, sees what he thinks are real scientists slamming municipal broadband for financial dysfunction, and makes a mental note…..(x10,000)

The PRI’s Sonia Arrison loves to pen editorials that also show up on a wide variety of websites without noting her financial ties….

Chris Lindgren (user link) says:

its no free and it will be bad

Muni WiFi is not free. It is either a subsidized service or a service that is provided by taking tax dollars from citizens who often dont want and or need the service. If it is not one of the above it is not muni wifi but a private enterprise.

Do you read your own articles? You seem to have a lot of focus on how goverment is a joke when it comes to implementing software services, why is muni wifi different? These implementations will be a waste of money and a trampling of peoples right to use their money. The only question is how bad will it be?

Chris Lindgren (user link) says:

its no free and it will be bad

Muni WiFi is not free. It is either a subsidized service or a service that is provided by taking tax dollars from citizens who often dont want and or need the service. If it is not one of the above it is not muni wifi but a private enterprise.

Do you read your own articles? You seem to have a lot of focus on how goverment is a joke when it comes to implementing software services, why is muni wifi different? These implementations will be a waste of money and a trampling of peoples right to use their money. The only question is how bad will it be?

Karl Bode (user link) says:

oh yeah....

“It is either a subsidized service or a service that is provided by taking tax dollars from citizens who often dont want and or need the service.”

You might want to do some research. The vast majority of muni-Fi are now private-public partnerships that don’t use a dime of taxpayer dollars….others are funded by revenue and private investment that offer wholesale access back to private industry….

The whole taxpayer subsidized thing is pretty much dead — PRI focuses on those models (from 2004 you’ll note) for political effect.

“These implementations will be a waste of money and a trampling of peoples right to use their money.”

Some will, some won’t. Personally I’m kooky and like the idea of these towns and cities deciding that for themselves (by say VOTING). The idea of free-marketeers declaring what’s right for towns and cities they’ve never even been to has always annoyed me….

Dooley (user link) says:

97% of all Statistics are Made Up. Including this

Anybody who would claim that WiFi was perfect is a moron. Then again, anybody who would write a report stating that WiFi is pointless, or imperfect, or otherwise not good is a moron as well.

The truth is that WiFi is not perfect but is getting better everyday, and along the way people are learning the benefits as well as the drawbacks to having a municipal network.

Nobody can simply state that we’ve got it figured out, but people can state that we’ve done what we can given the technology we have available.

Now that the N protocol has been standardized in big box stores, I’m sure we can expect municipal networks to see nothing but improvement.

Reports are published by people who want to prove something, whether it can be proved or not.

In this case, it seems evident to me that the folks are just against something like free internet.
Someone, somewhere probably just collected a fat cheque for writing that drivel.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

stuk on Wireless g

THe problem is that al ot of places will ahve ordered wireless-g equipment, and will have a large stock of obsolete equipment. Howeverm, if they get things right, they could cascade equipment to outlying aeas, enabling 802.11n to be used in more important areas.

Disareli’s (Benjamin d’Israeli, a Victorian British PM) quote that there are three categories of flasehood: “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” is well known, and perfectly applicable here. THe other good quote, which is certainly true of climate change, is “So my facts are only statistics, but your statistics are facts?” is also good.

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