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.
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 Open.org.
The City has been running open.org 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
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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