IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Muni wi-fi: I hate to say I told you so, but..
(previous | next)

Back in 2005, I released a report entitled "Risky Business" about Philadelphia's muni wi-fi plan, which was then in the planning stages. In that report and some subsequent blogs, I laid out a few possible scenarios for what might unfold as problems developed with the municipalization plan, as they always do. I predicted that, as those problems developed and costs grew, it wouldn't be surprising to find the city proposing a bailout for the plan, or look to selling it off to some other established provider at fire sale prices.

At the time, I got a bunch of grief from pro-muni wi-fi advocates for that prediction. They tried to paint me as some sort of enemy of the people and anti-progress, but I just explained to them that the government's track-record on the municipalization front was consistent; consistently disappointing that is. That's usually because the best laid government plans can't keep pace with marketplace / technological developments in this fast-moving field.

Anyway, I felt strangely vindicated today after I read this blurb from Broadband Reports under the title, "Philadelphia Makes Back-Up Plan In Case Earthlink Bails: The city is prepared to take over if need be":

Terry Phillis, Chief Information Officer for Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office, has stated that the city expects EarthLink to bail on its construction of a citywide wireless system. He says that more will be known within the next sixty days but the city is making back-up plans for municipal Wi-Fi based on the belief that EarthLink will sell (or entirely abandon) the system. They would prefer if EarthLink sold the system to another provider but are prepared to take it over themselves if need be. Phillis was vague about the city's plans but stated that the city sees the network as a valuable asset for residents as well as for their tourist economy.

Valuable for the tourist economy? Yeah, I know I make all my travel plans according to which government's offer muni wi-fi systems. Please.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:16 PM | Municipal Ownership

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation