Sunday, October 28, 2007

Its Ugly when Government gets involved

Saint Louis Park is on the government-subsidized wireless Internet bandwagon. It's not enough that government is jumping into a business it has no business being in but isn't it ironic that the city cleans and maintains the streets and sidewalks to enhance the safety and beauty of the neighborhoods but then puts up these eyesores?

The photo doesn't quite convey this, but as you look down the street, you can see these big scary things lined up conspicuously on street corners about every other block. Lets just say they don't blend.

Meanwhile other systems across the country are besieged with service issues and (yes, you guessed it) cost overruns. It turns out that it takes more access points than originally planned to provide adequate in-building coverage. In other cases, subscribers are required to obtain signal boosters at their own expense, presumably offsetting the cost savings for the consumer.

Imagine that. Government gets into what should remain a private enterprise and the result is less effective and more costly. Meanwhile, Chicago and San Francisco are dumping their systems. Good for them.

In Chicago's case "The cost of the implementation of the project and the estimated low number of citizens who would use it were the cited reasons driving this decision." In the case of San Francisco, Earthlink dropped out of the contract because they couldn't figure out how to make it profitable.

Broadband Internet access is not a right of citizenship and these municipal programs are most likely the manifestation of liberal officials with visions of grandeur attempting once again to extend the tentacles of government into yet another aspect of our lives.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

You know, if they'd just decided to use the power to light poles instead of trying to go solar, you get rid of about 80% of the eyesore factor. Why can't these clowns take a lesson from the cellular people, who seem to make their antennas virtually invisible?

Leave it to government to ignore resources they already have, mix in a healthy dose of ineffective environmentalism, and get to a conclusion of misbegotten aesthetics.