Monday, August 2, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

"Zap the Gap"

The phrase rolls off the tongue. Fortunately, it does not refer to stun-gun toting marauders in search of trendy, youth-oriented fashions in America's shopping malls.

The North Dakota PSC has launched an initiative to encourage new investment in wireless infrastructure. The rhyme is in the name. The reason: to eliminate dead spots in wireless coverage as well as to improve service along transportation corridors and in the state's cities. The method is quite striking. Rather than try to regulate, mandate, subsidize or otherwise coerce better service and new investment, the PSC will collect and make available valuable consumer information. Privacy zealots can rest easy; the type of information involved may be more typically understood as "market data" such as wireless penetration rates, traffic counts on major transportation arteries and population figures. With the power to confiscate and transfer wealth, a government program designed to share information in order to create wealth strikes me as a very good use of state resources. Market data for a rural state takes on many characteristics of a public good. Kudos to our friends up North for an innovative approach to an old problem.

posted by @ 1:10 PM | General