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Entries in WiFI (1)

Monday
Jun072010

Free WiFi – as a Public Service

Like the “all you can eat” buffet, wireless carriers are scrambling to change their menus to ala carte.

Soon, the one price covers all usage plans will be replaced with tiers offering a “pay as you go” approach.

Personally, I think this is subtlety devastating. Whether on a SmartPhone, PC or an “iWhatever”, the ability to capture large amounts of data to a remote device is on the increase.

I’ve been lured to watching the oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf sea, waiting expectantly for the oil to stop leaking and hearing a neighborhood cheer in unison for the triumph of good over evil. And if one feed isn’t enough, BP offers 12 live feeds from their remotely operated vehicles: http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=9033572&contentId=7062605

That’s more content than I get at my local Cineplex.

So as AT&T, Verizon and others begin ratcheting up costs and reducing my ability to affordably stay abreast of current events (or watch YouTube), what are we to do? Reach farther into our pockets during a challenging economic time to help AT&T?

I respectfully submit there’s a better way, and the Town of Brookline, MA is the working model. In a unique partnership the Town of Brookline offers residents free wireless on a merged wireless/public safety network.

 

Announced in 2007 this program has been working successfully allowing residents full access.

http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=275&Itemid=242

Here’s an example of a town well ahead of its time. Other towns are following suit (for example, parts of Boston are now “lit”.)

While a grass roots effort could be undertaken opening free wireless via home wi-fi, a coordinated approach would have better coverage and maintainability.

All towns should look into providing “free” wireless to their citizens as a value added service.