Thursday, January 26, 2017
My little town providing free public internet?
There are a few issues that I have with the idea that the Town of Selma will be providing free public wi-fi. First, there is no reason why we have to hire a "consultant" to do this for the town when there are high-speed network providers that can do the job right here already. Furthermore, one of these same providers already does networks like this, and I use their services regularly to connect to computers and networks hundreds of miles away. I have my company computer on this very desk connected 24/7 to do the very thing that the town is spending almost $60k to do. This can be done for far less money. Next, I have a problem with providing wifi hotspots at public expense, especially "the public would be able to have free Wi-Fi service up to two blocks away from all 10 public buildings". Some of these buildings are near residential housing and businesses. That means that I will be subsidizing tenants, homeowners, and business owners with free internet while my neighbors have to pay full price for theirs. With internet providers abound and mobile data plans in plentiful supply at reasonable prices (even free if you know where to look), why are we taxpayers funding internet for private citizens and businesses? It is one thing if private businesses wish to provide free wifi as a way to attract, keep, and placate customers. Different data carriers even provide free hotspots around the country for their own customers. But a town government should not be giving away that for which we who fund the town have to pay.