Few people care about socialistic programs so long as their pockets are affected in a positive way. Our government is not purely capitalistic, and was never designed to be. Plus, access has become a commodity and a utility. It's no surprise to me that governments try to regulate and sell it as such. My town sells me water and sewer service. They've privatized trash pickup, which is a disaster, in my opinion.

When viewing Internet access as a utility, it makes sense, in some cases, to have a government-sponsored option. Munis may reach those on the other side of the digital divide. It may increase outside investors interest in local investment. Some providers are simply not going to reach out to small communities and rural areas. And, more often, the only option will be from one ILEC.

Your example in Salem sounds like a good argument against muni ISP systems. But, each case will be different. Fortunately, our government is made up of elected officials. We can vote them out as a community. Unfortunately, they may permanantly damage independant ISPs before the community has a chance to voice dissenting opinions.

I think Matt Larsen has the idea. We won't stop these efforts in many cases, no matter how hard we try. But, we might be able to ride the tide if we try to cooperate and provide assistance.

Brian Whigham
Yonder Networks

George wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:

You guys are all missing the point. If they contract with the local WISP, they don't get to "create new jobs" for the muni... instead, they are just helping a local business grow with local tax money.

Welcome to politics in the wireless arena. :(


Exactly Travis, it's a socialist dream.

I wasn't aware of this until last week when I read an article about Salem Oregon's

The City has been running which is a full facilities based ISP with dial up, web hosting, DSL and wifi hot spots.

They charge 12.00 per month for dial up. Anybody can sell 12.00 dial up, nothing special here.

I'm not sure about the other "businesspeople" on this list, but I have a hard time accepting that our government ought to be in *any* business. Never mind competing against the private sector. Salem Oregon is not a small town with nobody servicing it, it's the State Capital and either the 2nd or 3rd largest city in the state. I don't buy that they provided these services because others wouldn't or couldn't, I believe it's just what it is, state run industry.

I thought that we went to war in Korea, Vietnam, Central America and almost with Russia to end communism and socialism and to further our capitalistic system.

So why should any government local or state decide to take over an industry and compete against business after what this country has stood for the entire 20th century?

This is where I find Muni anything to be appalling.

You hit it square on the head, it's politics and I don't believe any of us "businesspeople" want to include politics as part of our business.


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