The Inquirer has a good article asking about the pitfalls (primarily financial losses for the city) of Philadelphia building its own WIFI network for wireless internet access for all or most residents.
As I said before on this blog, I am against this type of public venture. It will suck and provide inferior service and quality......and as one person in the article said... "the city can't keep the streets clean..how can they do this?" (I am loosely paraphrasing this very astute resident).
BUT, the article included an email from a Comcast biggie (David Cohen who is just about Governor Ed Rendell's best friend- Cohen was Philadelphia Managing Director when Rendell was Mayor).
Here are some pertinent thoughts and money quotes from the article...... The notion of city support, however, worries critics such as Michael J. Balhoff, a consultant and the author of a recent industry-sponsored study that takes a dim view of municipal Wi-Fi. In an interview, Balhoff warned that a perception of city support for one firm could discourage others from bringing competing Internet systems to Philadelphia - leaving residents with fewer choices, worse technology, and higher bills.
That critique has also come from Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast, whose politically influential executive vice president, David L. Cohen, said in an e-mail yesterday: "We continue to believe that it is inappropriate to use public money to provide service or to indirectly subsidize select providers."
Blogitorial comment..so what Cohen is worrying about is there will be a lack of competition WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT PHILADELPHIANS ARE FACED WITH SINCE COMCAST BOUGHT OUT MOST OF THE AREA'S CABLE PROVIDERS. In effect, Comcast and Cohen are getting a dose of their own medicine but I predict Comcast will one day "buy out" the city's WIFI network and make another bazillion dollars so I won't shed any tears for them today.