Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Council OK's free Downtown Wi-Fi - and I have a problem with 'cutting edge' hype

Council OK's free Downtown Wi-Fi Council President Luke Ravenstahl said the deal makes Pittsburgh 'a cutting-edge city.'
Luke, don't say such foolishness. Cutting-edge in terms of being hoodwinked.

I'm glad to see some changes. But, we're not cutting-edge. We're not even close. The deal from the PDP is going to insure Pittsburgh remains behind the times. The deal expands the digital divide and offers little of value.

Cutting edge is wi-fi on mass transit -- as they do in Japan on high-speed trains that travel 13-floors below sea level.

Cutting edge is wi-fi for free that covers the other 22 hours of a day. Not just for 120 minutes.

Cutting edge is a wi-fi digital media campus that goes to under served areas, not for the elite.

Cutting edge is wi-fi, computers and hives of information for every resident in the city who is in school. The students are cutting-edge, not office workers who won't want to log on anyway.

Wi-fi but not so high.

Cutting edge isn't a network that isn't 'secure.' I'd never log onto that network to check my email as the security is absent.

Cutting edge was 2003 when the airport had wi-fi in the food court, or 2004 when the wings of the airport went wi-fi. We've got 200 plus wi-fi hot spots for surfers to hit downtown already.

Cutting edge for Pittsburgh is what Spokane had a year or two ago. Where's the edge or the cut?

Cutting edge would be wi-fi rivers, wi-fi T-line to Overbrook and South Hills Village, and wi-fi East Busway, West Busway and swim pools.

Cutting edge would be wi-fi at higher speeds, such as what Earthlink offered. This speed is not that fast, because is 500 people push a key at the same time, we'll see a slight delay.

Cutting edge would come to the city without the foundations needing to kick in $.5 million.

Cutting edge would go higher than 2 stories. We've got downtown buildings that are higher than that. But in neighborhoods, all the buildings would be covered with the wi-fi network -- as homes are generally 2 stories high.

Cutting edge would not see prices go from $40 per month per pole to $20 per month per pole -- it would be $0 per pole per month. I don't think that the city owns most of the poles anyway. And the PDP (Pgh Downtown Partnership) could do cutting-edge by working with building owners and putting the antennae on the buildings directly.

Cutting edge is a wi-fi deal that covers the entire region if not the county. We can't even cover the entire city. This wi-fi deal is more like a pimple of coverage for wi-fi areas that exist already.

Cutting edge is what we had in the city's cable franchise agreement, years and years ago. But, we let that deal slide without oversight. We let the fruit die on the vine. Where are the broadband computers and uses at the rec centers now? FUMBLE.

Cutting edge needs to come from people who know how to spell email. I'm not sure Mayor O'Connor can send and receive email. The drivers of cutting-edge technology need to be more than "at the table" someone at the table needs to pick up the bill. Waitstaff, fetch another round of bottled waters, be happy to be at the table for scraps, and then, pay the tab as well.

In China, everyone in the city gets free internet. Just as we all can dial 411 or 911 -- that's the level of dial up that is nearly NATION WIDE in China. That's not cutting edge. Here, you still have to pay up to $20 a month to get dial up.

Cutting edge is Internet 2.

Cutting edge would be video on demand to see the proceedings from today's city council meeting, even if you didn't catch it on your cable.

Nor is cutting edge a slots parlor, nor an all-star game for a game with steroid abusers, nor a skateboard park, nor a tunnel that is closed for 2 hours a day just to change directions of its traffic for the 600 cars that drive through it.

Let's think, we'll get wi-fi for downtown for 2 hours each day -- and that amount of time equals the time that the Wabash Tunnel is closed each day.
Council OKs Downtown Wi-Fi plan - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'This is the starting point,' said Councilwoman Tonya Payne, who praised the plan.
Really, this isn't a starting point. Rather, it is the ONLY POINT. There isn't any 'phase 2' nor 'phase 3.' This is it. They came. They picked our cherries. They couldn't put Humpty together again.

In a few months, I'll be able to ask, "Where is free wi-fi in Knoxville?" And I'll be able to say, "I told you so."

Now I'm able to ask, "What about the computer labs in the Rec Centers?" We have computer rooms in Orbsby and Warrington. But there are no computer labs there. And, we offered to build them three years ago at no charge to the city. Now I'm able to say, "I told you."

I'm sick of always being right and having my city perform so poorly.

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