Unfortunately some of these types of funding has as many strings attached to it than the RFP's themselves.

Dawn DiPietro

Peter R. wrote:

Most RFP's I have reviewed including Atlanta are hot for someone to come in and give away free wi-fi, especially to schools and the under-served sections of town.

There are a couple of  problems:
1) How do you monetize that?
2) Most of the under-served don't have computers

The only real threat to the telcos and cablecos is that the cheap users will use the free system, so some of their revenues will decrease. But so will support costs. And I am sure at some point they will stop maintaining and/or upgrading low revenue facilities, furthering the Digital Divide. But that won't stop them from collecting USF monies.

There are monies available to build these networks if the governments could get it together: Quality of Life grants; Homeland Security funding; USF monies for libraries and schools - and those are just the ones off the top of my pointed beanie.

It's all coming to a head. Between now and 2009, lots of turbulence to come. Much of it hangs on the lame telecom re-write and how much of a push-over Martin will be. If he gets a spine, it could be a great economic revival.

- Peter

Dawn DiPietro wrote:


As quoted from the article;

"“The competitive impacts of municipal broadband will be especially threatening to incumbents to the extent that muni nets can be cost- justified by increased efficiencies, cost savings and other ‘internal’ or social benefits captured by local governments, schools, and other public institutions,”
the report states."

While some understand the cost savings these networks can bring others are still focused on the "free wifi cloud" for the population in these areas. There needs to be more focus on the fact that there are so many other benefits to these municipal networks such as water meter reading, public safety communications etc. For these applications to work a robust network has to be built with the following in mind low latency, 99999 reliability, high capacity, and so on. Cost savings for local government, businesses and residential should also be factored into the equation for services such as telecommunications times X number of phone lines just for government offices and broadband access for all schools. I understand that this is only the tip of the ice burg and there are so many other applications and cost savings for these networks. My point is that the network has to be built robust enough to be able to support it all including a wifi cloud.

Thanks to Jack for bringing this article to the list. :-)

Dawn DiPietro


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