Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good news for municipal wifi

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm an avid SlashDot reader. A post from today:

"The effort to ban municipal networks in Texas has failed. Texas House Bill 789 originally had provisions to ban muni wireless networks. The Senate passed a significantly rewritten version, without a ban. A conference committee failed to reach agreement, so the bill died when the Texas legislature adjourned this weekend."

The capacity for towns and cities to offer free or cheap wireless internet access is a part of that public ownership concept that I posted about a week ago. And it's a very, very important part of it.

*gets out crystal ball*

I forsee the next great WPA-style public works project being an informational one, where net access becomes an essential utility, like telephone service and plumbing. I believe it will be especially important for our rural communities to survive as desirable places to live.

*puts away crystal ball*

Not to mention that an all-business internet access model doesn't do much to keep the internet the great, open ideaspace that it is. We need that now more than ever!

Read more about the Texas Bill at savemuniwireless.org.


At 9:23 AM, Blogger Synthesis said...

That Al Gore didn't use the phrase "Information Super-Highway" for nothing.

The development of public highspeed networks will have equally the formative effect that the public road and highway system has had on this country.

It is definitely something that could make this a more equal society (equal opportunity that is).

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Sue B said...

Maybe there is still some hope for our isolated communities in the heartland states, after all. As poor as people are fast becoming out on the prairie, a commercial choke hold on high speed Internet access sounded like one more nail in the coffin of rural, small town communities.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Dem-X said...

Yeah Sue, that's exactly what I think about rural internet. It's in danger of being yet another urban entity that controls the fate of small towns (e.g., fast food franchises, gas station franchises, regional wal-marts, etc).

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