The Internet Amenity

The Internet Amenity

“Within 10 or 15 years’ time, practically every computer and every handheld device will be online all the time.

What many people don’t realize, however, is that this visionary network is increasingly up and running today. And it doesn’t even require any new technology, business models or significant investment. Indeed, if there is a single difference between the Broadband2Wireless mission and the reality of this new ubiquitous network, it’s that the real wireless Internet doesn’t cost $50 a month—it’s free. All that’s required, really, is openness….

Ultimately, IP tone becomes valuable not when it is just in your hotel room but when you can count on it being everywhere. I have it in my house for guests. My friends have it in their offices. This is the friendly future that I see starting to shape up: instead of seeing Internet connectivity as a profit center, my guess is that businesses, universities and government facilities are going to provide IP tone to visitors for the same reason that they offer free local telephone service, water and the use of rest rooms—it makes the environment warmer, friendlier and more productive.

Do your part: set up an open network today.” [at Technology Review, via Tomalak's Realm]

You know who would loooooove to set up wireless networks for anyone to come in and use? Yep… public libraries. Most can't, though.

  1. The limited technology budget is better spent on computers, printers, and maintenance;
  2. When there is a tech person on staff, they don't have the time or resources to set one up and maintain it;
  3. A lot of public libraries don't even have a tech person on staff.

It's kind of sad, actually, because PLs are already community centers. Check out The Wireless Librarian's list of Libraries with Wireless and you'll see that only 7 of the 88 listed are public libraries. It's not a definitive list, but it's indicative of the current situation. We'd need a similar e-rate-like initiative for wireless to change this, but the Bush administration would rather cut this type of funding. [The Shifted Librarian]

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