Monday, June 18, 2007

Running Over The Cliffs With The Lemmings

I wouldn't have noticed this first headline today if I hadn't already seen the second in a paper at a newsstand:

Municipal Wi-Fi Networks Run Into Financial, Technical Trouble

Capital poised to go Wi-Fi

I'll run a paragraph from each. It shouldn't be hard to figure out which paragraph comes from which article.

Lompoc isn't alone. Across the United States, many cities are finding their Wi-Fi projects costing more and drawing less interest than expected, leading to worries that a number will fail, resulting in millions of dollars in wasted tax dollars or grants when there had been roads to build and crime to fight.


The Sacramento City Council on Thursday is scheduled to vote on authorizing a consortium called Sacramento Metro Connect LLC to build a citywide network that would provide wireless connections in parks, cafes, businesses and homes within the 100-square-mile city boundary.

Here's my favorite quote:

"They are the monorails of this decade: the wrong technology, totally overpromised and completely undelivered," said Anthony Townsend, research director at the Institute for the Future, a think tank.


allen said...

Yeah, I thought something like this might happen. 802.11 just wasn't designed to do what's being asked of it in the municipal wifi networks. If you push the technology too hard it just breaks.

Maybe when WiMAX picks up some steam in the market.

Ellen K said...

I put this right up there with the poor decision to offer laptops to every child in our towns poorest middle school. The end result was a collection of computers used to access pornography,spam or other inappropriate materials. Many were pawned or stolen. Most of the computers that were returned were in a dismal state of disrepair due to neglect or abuse. Many didn't come back because as with textbooks, they traveled with their uses back over the Mexican border never to be seen again. What a find waste of money that was. The program was not continued. And this is what was proposed by one of last year's education committee chairs in Texas for use on a statewide basis. What a fiasco that would be.