Is Muni-WiFi Really The Sign Of A High Tech City?
from the it-doesn't-need-to-be dept
We've always supported local governments' rights to offer muni-broadband, if appropriate. However, suddenly it seems that offering muni-broadband, and muni-WiFi specifically, has become so popular that people in cities like Boston are complaining that without muni-WiFi, they won't be considered a "tech city." This is silly. Cities should make sure that such offerings are actually needed. In many cases they might be -- but claiming that your city needs muni-WiFi to be considered a "tech city" is backwards. Needing muni-WiFi means that private business has failed to provide the connectivity that people want -- which should be seen as a problem in a tech city, not the other way around. It's reached the point that too many cities seem to be jumping on the muni-WiFi bandwagon just to have muni-WiFi, and that risks creating a lot of failed muni-WiFi projects. Too many failed muni-WiFi efforts would mean that the places that really could find such efforts useful will have a much tougher time convincing anyone that it's worthwhile.