Houston-Area WiFi?

So there is an effort underway to create a community wifi network in Houston. Given the way that the city parcelled out licenses when cable TV first showed up in town, I am somewhat reluctant to consider this a good thing. The cable TV thing was handled poorly and anti-competitively. Citizens were given one and only one company they could sign up with because that company had exclusive rights in their neighborhood.

Similarly, I’m not sure I buy the idea that the government of our cash-strapped city has a role in providing wifi for the city. You could make an argument that this is good for everyone but those arguments would also apply to city-wide telephone service (or for that matter, cable TV). I’m all for being able to connect up wherever I might be, but I’m also enough of a capitalist to wonder why we’re supposed to have the gubbernment do something for us when there are plenty of companies capable of providing this service (some already are) when demand increases to the level that pricing becomes reasonable.

Me, I think I’d vote no until the police force and fire department are fully-funded. But that’s just me.

1 Comment so far

  1. Scott (unregistered) on May 19th, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

    As one of the applications of the wifi network is to assist fire & police, I don’t think this is such a bad idea.

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