Speed Bump on the Road To Wireless Internet


Frequent contributor at BlueNC and all around good guy Brian R., posts today at Orange Politics on the Chapel Hill Town Council's decision NOT to pull into the fastlane on the digital super highway.

Last night the Chapel Hill Town Council rejected a proposal to create a committee to explore the creation of a municipal network. What ensued was the first public discussion by council of what they really think about this topic. In short they will not charter a WiFi committee. Looming large is the need for the town to completely overhaul itself in regards to technology. Where are the citizen tech experts? Will the town create a technology master plan? What will the new Town Manager do? Read on to get a “play by play” account of the discussion.

It's always easy to make the case for more and better planning, especially in Chapel Hill. And in the case of technology innovation and investment, the case is even easier to make. It's the slow and cautious path - and it rarely leads to breakthough results.

What's the situation in your community? Do you have municiple wireless services for internet access?


A record

The post over at Orange Politics is an attempt to record what was said at the meeting. Not my personal opinion on the subject. [contrary to the first teaser paragraph quoted above. It tease you to read it doesn't it. :) ] Also Council member Mark Kleinschmidt wrote a good comment on that post clarifying my notes. My analysis will follow on my Yesh.com blog soon.


No wireless, no cable, no DSL, spotty POTS at best. And I live literally within line-of-sight of a highschool.

Go America.

Durham plans to have WI-MAX by 2008

Durham's Capital Improvement Program includes this:

Project Title
Public/Private Mesh Wireless Network

Project Description
This project creates a private wireless mesh network for City/County use that supports all city departments, County Sheriff, County EMS, and County Emergency Services. It will also create a co-located mesh WI-MAX network for public use of the Internet.

The project remains unfunded - $3 million in funding will come from a yet to be authorized General Obligation Bond.

Well, Durham was always the more progressive town

when compared to Chapel Hill. I mean, we always knew that Carrboro would beat us, as they are the most progressive town in North Carolina, but we should have expected that Durham would be next. Then, probably Asheville, then Wilmington, Raleigh, Benson, Rocky Mount, and then probably Chapel Hill.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Charlotte will get it

when it is sadly outdated and has been replaced by at least 3 generations of newer technology. Ugh!

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Equal Access to the Internet

I'm glad Chapel Hill has not succumbed to the competitive attitude around the WiFi hype. (I do see the hype and popularity of WiFi as a vehicle for positive change tho'.) I'm sad that more local politicians haven’t extolled *publicly* the real virtue of municipal wireless - equal access to the Internet.

Equal access means we can all harness the power of the Internet to our own benefit regardless of socioeconomic status. That wireless *stops* becoming a resource of only the privileged. It must be a resource for everyone!

This is a subsection of educational discrimination. Children that don't know how to use the internet are SERIOUSLY disadvantaged. Every day that goes by the worse this disadvantage is. Not just because more families with children fall bellow the poverty line but because our world becomes more and more dependant on the Internet.