According to today’s USA TODAY:

Plans to blanket cities across the nation with low-cost or free wireless Internet access are being delayed or abandoned because they are proving to be too costly and complicated.

Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and other cities are putting proposed Wi-Fi networks on hold …

… “All these big city projects were doomed to failure because they were too complicated,” says Glenn Fleishman of Wi-Fi Networking News.

Apparently, Boston is going forward, logic be damned, unfortunately.

No one would love free wireless Internet more than I, obviously. I currently spend $39.99 per month to get wireless access at Starbucks, and I pay $35 per month to get Internet access at home. If I could get it for $20 or so, that’d be great, right?

Sort of.

But, it’s more than a matter of money, to me.

There is no reason for cities to offer this service. Private industry does a pretty good job of it.

Those who feel we need to have free or low-cost Internet service for “lower-income” people, haven’t done a lot of research on the concept. Many of these “lower-income” people can well afford to pay for Internet access (I’m betting many of them already pay for cable TV, right?), and many others don’t even want it, or need it.

More importantly, I fear that cities such as Boston will spend a lot of time and money on this technology, only for it become outdated within a decade or two.

Let’s stay out of it.

Cities turning off plans for Wi-Fi – By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

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