Thursday, January 26, 2006

City's Wireless Deal is a Joke

Note the word ‘looks’. However, what the Tribune has not reported is that looks can be deceiving. It is no different in the case of the wire-less internet deal inked for the city of Milwaukee. Throughout the course seven months as this discussion went on, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Tribune, and the Journal Sentinel have continually been duped – or have duped the public – in believing the deal with Midwest Fiber Networks will benefit everyone. It won’t. First off, not everyone owns a laptop. More importantly, not everyone can afford to purchase a laptop computer. And if the supposed ‘poor’ who they believe will benefit the most from this deal can afford to own a laptop computer, even a previously used one, they aren’t exactly what I would consider to be ‘poor’. Secondly, while this deal will guarantee a signal, it will not provide an actual connection to the internet. As I have noted previously, those who plan to take advantage of this wireless offer will still have to shell out at least twenty dollars a month in obtaining an internet connection through separate internet providers. And lastly, this deal goes against everything the free-market stands for. Instead of shopping around and determining the best offer for the city of Milwaukee, Barrett, being the exquisite consumer he is (sarcasm intended), chose to go with the first and only bid which came to his desk, not bothering to see what other companies had to offer which would reduce the cost to the public. Were you aware that the wireless deal for the city of San Francisco, provided by Google, would have included both the signal and the connection free of charge? Don’t you think at least one company would have done the exact same thing for the city of Milwaukee? Barrett didn’t think so. Neither have the Tribune or the Journal Sentinel apparently. So, might as well live with it, right?