Dave Totten's personal voyage to the land of IT Fluency, and other Digital Governance issues.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

RANT! Verizon!

Have you noticed Verizon's new ad campaign? They're promoting their cell phone-based Internet service.

"Wi-fi only works in limited locations... Verizon works anywhere."

Rather an ironic statement, isn't it? I mean, considering how hard Verizon has campaigned against community Wi-Fi projects. Verizon and Comcast successfully lobbied the Pennsylvania legislature into passing a law outlawing any publicly organized Wi-Fi, in essense. Governor Rendell signed the bill after Comcast promised to build a new headquarters building in Center City, Philadelphia. That law was written, passed and signed to prevent a Philadelphia plan to spread Wi-Fi over public parks.

In other words, maybe Wi-Fi only works in limited locations because Verizon uses its corporate power to keep it in limited locations. Meantime, their service costs $60/month.

It kind of reminds me of Lessig's discussion of RCA's repression of FM technology. This issue could be one of the biggest threats to the development of the Internet: traditional businesses that are so slow to respond that they feel the need to surpress new technologies to keep their old business models alive. John Dvorak from PC Magazine suggests that the music industry may aim its guns at Apple's iTunes in an effort to protect the record stores.

Have a listen to a discussion of this top on this week's On the Media.


Blogger babblingdweeb said...

Just passing through via "next blog"...

This is one of the best commentaries on stupid crap avg citizens have to deal with due to stupid greedy corporations. Politics and money mixing to screw over the little guy.

5:10 PM

Blogger Joohyun said...

I came to know this via your posting. Corporates assert they serve and work for customers but do they? I sometimes feel like I have begged for their service even if I am the one who paid for it.

12:07 PM

Blogger Jonathan Lu said...

This is where money trumps public good. I think it would get to the point that the government will have to step in to provide or even subsidize service for the greater good. If corporations had there way we woulod have national parks or even public parks in general.

2:50 AM

Blogger David Totten said...

In San Francisco, Google is the city's corporate sponsor for city-wide wi-fi. They stand to benefit if they can provide a directory service to laptop users in the Bay Area. I wonder if Comcast is going to try to stop that, too?

11:13 PM

Blogger David Totten said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:14 PM


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