Wireless Internet as a Public Good

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Huckleburry, May 4, 2006.

  1. Huckleburry
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    Huckleburry Member

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    I am writing my senior honors thesis on Wireless internet as a public good. I am still in the planning stages and would like to hear people's thoughts.

    Alternatively, I may write on American Competitiveness after Sarbanes-Oxley.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Are you speaking of government agencies providing wi-fi throughout an area?
     
  3. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    It would be kind of neat if it was turned into a utility ie: put in a quarter and check your e-mail - to many germs can be spread doing that though. :laugh"
     
  4. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    I assume by "public" good, you're actually talking about the plans of various cities (or was it just one? I can't remember) to provide "free" wi-fi internet access.

    As far as ideas go, this one stinks.

    The taxes to pay for it will be a drag on the economy, somehow/someway. The government intrusion into the economy will be a huge obstacle for any private startups who were looking at private wi-fi. Since you've discouraged private wi-fi, you'll be sure to see a lack of technological advancement.

    I think the reasoning was (going on memory here) that inner-city youths would be left behind technologically speaking, and not have access to high-paying jobs. I'd say that's the least of their problems. All the socialism and shiny gadgets in the world won't change the fact that little Tyrone doesn't know who his father is, and has grown up being raised by gangs instead.
     
  5. Huckleburry
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    Huckleburry Member

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    Rhode Island (where I go to school) is building the first boarder to boarder wireless network. The rational behind this project is that it will be an engine of innovation and economic growth.

    I am planning on arguing that broad band connectivity has become essential to commerce. As such it should be viewed as a matter of infastructure and provided by the government. Think of the internet as a road. You don't have to pay a toll everytime you want to leave your driveway and if you did the transaction cost of would be enourmous, so much so that it would stifle commerce and negatively impact the economy. Broad Band connectivity is really no different. It is essential to commerce and should be included in the infastructure.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I might be wrong, but if the idea is commerce, well dammit they can provide for it. On the other hand, if one wishes to argue that it's the wave of the future for news, emergency alerts, entertainment, and the jurisdiction doesn't wish to leave anyone out, there is a case to be made.

    Just my opinion.
     
  7. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    How would it be funded?
     
  8. Huckleburry
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    Huckleburry Member

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    The same way other infastructure projects are funded. Taxes.

    In RI a non-profit is putting the project together. Stake holders contribute to its construction and as a result get a certain amount of bandwidth to use as they please. The state, Universities, and Utility companies have thus far been the biggest contributors.
     
  9. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Well sure, but in what manner? You made a reference to roads which are funded through tax on gas. How would you tax internet users?

    What if I already have internet service that I am quite happy paying for, does the govenernment still tax me? Are private servers elimanted from the market? What if I don't have a computer do I still get taxed?
     
  10. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I don't like it. It's essentially forcing me to pay for internet access whether I want it or not. Right now, I can get wi-fi access for free in several cafes or I can choose to pay for broadband wi-fi in major cities if I want. I don't use it, because I prefer a desktop to a laptop. On the other hand, if the government makes border to border wireless, and I don't take advantage of it, then I'm being forced to pay for a service I'm not using, and it will also put companies offering wireless access out of business, not to mention every ISP in the state if this all comes with internet access. The service will probably also become bloated and inefficient since you're not allowed to take your money elsewhere. Government needs to step aside and let private enterprise work instead of taking over everything 'for the public good.'
     

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