Making a hot spot for free doesnt make sense. It costs money for the internet that goes through it and the system.
People even cities dont just pop it out and say "free internet" without it expecting to make anything.
It's not free, per say. The "free" version has advertisements, and the non-ad version costs 20 dollars a month. but around here, cable is over $50, and DSL is at least $30 + the cost of a phone line, so it's well over 50 as well. The point being, broadband is relatively expensive and this service provides wireless for much cheaper than it would normally cost in the home.
If a lot of people ditch Cable and DSL service for the cheaper city-run ISP, perhaps the other providers will lower their rates. Stranger things have happened...
And yes, you can always head to Starbucks...the quad-venti-mocha will cost you 5 bucks but at least the use of their wifi will be free.
Quite frankly, if I were to trust any entity, it would be competitive businesses rather than a branch of government, which is open to vast temptations to use it for the "best" of reasons and For Our Good, and which does not understand the internet very well at all.
The key word is "competitive." The unfortunate word that actually goes in it's place is "monopoly."
At least with the government, you can get rid of officials you don't like by voting them out. Last time I checked, Portland General Electric didn't ask the public (who naturally has no other competing
companies to buy electricity from) to vote on a new CEO.
But hey, I am always heartened to hear about the bloated executive salaries my rate-hikes fund; I am always thrilled
to watch prime-time TV commercials, also paid for by my rates, from a company I have no choice but to do business with in the first place.
Oh, and again, most of the time it's lobbyists from "competitive business" that steer government officials away from the public good; granted, "public good" may be hard to define, but I am willing to argue that it rarely jibes with "corporate good."
Edited by locally pwned, 13 March 2007 - 07:44 PM.
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