John Dvorak argues that market forces (“we on the market, so we’ll force you to do…”) will doom free the free municiapl WiFi services that are springing up around the country. Chicago is evaluating running its own. Dvoark assumes that a combination of telephone carriers, cable companies, and cell phone companies (oh, wait, they’re all the same company!) will either block the creation of free services or force them to shut down.
[T]here is no way that any cash-strapped city — a category that appears to comprise all of them — will not succumb to the financial benefit of pulling the plug on this free service, if it’s ever implemented in the first place.
So if you get free municipal Wi-Fi, use it and enjoy it while you can.
Well, good. I wouldn’t want the city of Chicago to be my telephone company. I don’t want them to be my internet company. If they run my internet, they can read my email, without subpoena and without warrants. They can bury how much I pay for it in my taxes, and I’ll bet the “free” service costs more than what I current pay Earthlink. And, perhaps, the person appointed to run it might get that position based more on clout than competence. Things like that have been rumored to happen here. :-)