Are local governments equipped to regulate public broadband initiatives?

A new report warns that cities considering municipal Wi-Fi shouldn’t fool themselves into believing that the experience will be as routine as running water, gas and electricity systems.The study, conducted by the Reason Foundation and written by a former deputy director and acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, outlines seven factors that municipal officials should address before moving forward with plans for municipal broadband and Wi-Fi to ensure that the projects are technologically and financially viable. Those issues include: Competition, Continuous improvements, Technological change, Obsolescence, Risk and Uncertainty

Read Muni Wi-Fi not just another utility from Network World, the Reason Foundation’s report: A Dynamic Perspective on Government Broadband Initiatives (pdf) and news of a Nebraska community fighting for the right to explore community broadband.

Previously from WNM: The Case for a Broadband Welfare State, Louisiana broadband-as-utility effort held up in courts and US cities warned on long-term costs of free wireless

Update.12.30.06: Evaluating the pros and cons of municipal wireless from Ars Technica


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Filed under Community WiFi, Broadband, Digital Divide, The Reading Room

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