The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Priorities People! 

This kind of bugs me. At Thanksgiving, I was talking to my Aunt Connie who was mentioning some of her cousins in Louisiana who were still without phone service. In fact, my Great Aunt Adelaide has a relative in Baton Rouge who works for the phone company, who is busting his hump to get phone service restored around the state. So here we have who knows how many people without basic phone service, but the City of New Orleans will be rolling out free Wi-Fi:

Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans will deploy the nation's first municipally owned wireless Internet system that will be free for all users, part of an effort to jump-start recovery by making living and doing business in the city as attractive as possible.

The system, which Mayor C. Ray Nagin is scheduled to announce at a news conference today, also will be used by law enforcement and for an array of city government functions, such as speeding approval of building permits.

Much of the equipment to run the network was donated by companies, but New Orleans will own it and operate all its components at the outset. The system, which uses devices mounted on streetlights to beam out fast Internet connections for wireless-enabled computers, is scheduled to be operational today in the central business district and the French Quarter and to be expanded over time.

If companies wanted to donate equipment, why weren't they donating equipment for phone switches and lines? How about getting basic services to people before we start giving away free Wi-Fi (which I disagree with in general anyway). Yes, New Orleans was hit hard, but so was the entire state of Louisiana. Let's not forget that even more basic services aren't being provided to those people before we start dumping lavish goodies on one city.


I kind of agree, but how many people still living in New Orleans had basic phone and didn't own a cell phone. Cell phones are in the now and basic phone service is in the past. Also I think the Wi-Fi is intended for those people that have moved or come down there to help with the rebuilding of the city. Companies helping with the design and rebuild brought laptops to communicate and share information with their headquarters. Wi-Fi is a large helping step to the future of New Orleans.

  Posted at December 01, 2005 9:43 AM by Anonymous Ben  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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