Sunday, August 07, 2005
When Pigs Wi-Fi
Nicholas Kristof, writing in today's New York Times, says,
New York and other leading cities should be embarrassed that Morrow and Umatilla Counties in eastern Oregon are far ahead of them in providing high-speed Internet coverage to residents, schools and law enforcement officers - even though all of Morrow County doesn't even have a single traffic light.snip
. . . Kim Puzey, the general manager of the Port of Umatilla on the Columbia River here [says] "We'd like people to say, 'If they can do it out in the boondocks with a small population, that model can be applied to highly complex areas,' " he said.snip
Indeed, we need to envision broadband Internet access as just another utility, like electricity or water. Often the best way to provide that will be to blanket a region with Wi-Fi coverage to create wireless computer networks, rather than running D.S.L., cable or fiber-optic lines to every home.snip
Portland and Philadelphia won't have [planned Wi-Fi] systems in place until next year. Meanwhile, the system in eastern Oregon covers a larger geographic area, is free for consumers and has been up and running for more than a year and a half.Sigh. This is becoming an old story. But with the FCC going backwards, and even denying that the U.S. is falling behind, it looks like we'll be fighting this tired old battle for more years to come.
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