When Pigs Wi-Fi – New York Times

<p>[via <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/07/opinion/07kristof.html?">When Pigs Wi-Fi – New York Times</a>]:</p> <p><cite>This kind of network is the wave of the future, and eastern Oregon shows that it's technically and financially feasible. 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.</cite></p> <p><cite>The big cities should take note, said Kim Puzey, the general manager of the Port of Umatilla on the Columbia River here. "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.</cite> </p><p>This is the second aricle this week (op-ed actually) to cover the issue of muni wifi. The first was a [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/03/opinion/03friedman.html?ex=1123732800&en=c7a5ef6c43908f9c&ei=5070&emc=eta1|"glowing" op-ed by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN] about Andrew Rasiej's bid for public advocate in NYC that is based largely on a plan to deploy muni-wifi.</p> <p>I would concur with both Friedman and Kristof that the government (city state and national) need to look at the information infrastructure the same way original telephone and electricity infrastructures were seen. AS our nation moves further in the direction of an information economy, citizensd must have access to the internet the way businesses once needed to be near sources of power and transportation routes.</p> <p>In many cities, open wifi is becoming ubiquitous. By this i do not mean public or municipal hotspots, but thanks to the default settings on most wi-fi routers in conjunction with most consumers complete ineptitude when it comes to configuring technology, many people leave their wifi wide open for interlopers. Right now, sitting in my apartment, I am in range of 4 unsecured wireless networks, sometimes that number is as high as 8.</p> <p>All those people are paying some ISP somewhere around $40 a month for their highspeed access. It will take some serious strength to overcome the telecoms' profit interest and push through low cost munu wifi, but it is a fight worth joining. I am jus tnot sure that the public advocate's office is the right place to start.</p> <p>I'd like to point out that on the blog I have written about [gh:node/101|stratellites], a high altitude derrigible that can offer wireless internet to large areas.</p>