In my inbox today was the latest FreePress Media Reform Daily, and without parsing the details (for now) I found these three consecutive headlines very tellin:
Community InternetNot that the iPhone is indicative of our future "needs" per our future "luxuries" (although some may argue that point, huh?), but the demands of technology and further incorporation of "connectivity" in our daily lives necessitate, even today, a question that remains unanswered by localized attempts to organize public connectivity, while the at the federal level decision makers are sitting in the corner, covering their ears, going "la la la la la la."
Wi-Fi to the Rescue for the iPhone in U.K. and Germany
As Steve Jobs continued his European barnstorming tour in Berlin, introducing the iPhone to applauding audiences, it is becoming apparent just how important Wi-Fi is for the success of the phone.
W. David Gardner, Informatioan Week
San Fran Wireless Plan Is Officially Dead
A sweeping plan to blanket San Francisco with a high-speed Internet network is officially dead. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has refused to vote on a deal that Mayor Gavin Newsom negotiated with EarthLink and Google.
Michael Martinez, National Journal
EarthLink Ends Wi-Fi Network Deal in Pasadena
Pasadena's agreement with EarthLink to set up a Wi-Fi network is no longer a viable plan, and city officials are assessing what the next move will be.
Audrey Reed, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
There are many success stories (UTOPIA comes to mind) but there are far more examples of how bad planning, lacking investment, and short-sighted goals are holding back genuine efforts to capitalize (literally) on this relatively untapped market/resource that is public wireless. If a community in Utah can come together to rally support for their own high speed access network, why can't Pasadena? Is it a matter of population and size, public interest in the endeavor, or lack of community involvement in the planning phases that lead to failure? Is it businesses jumping the gun on returns on their investments? Is it moderate federal and state support? Do most people simply not care yet?
Realistically, it is a combination of all of these things and more, but one simple notion may be the root of success and failure when it comes to public access; we, the public, must remain increasingly involved.