free wi-fi in Portland

So this company called MetroFi started launching free wireless access in Portland.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  If it’s 100% ad supported and $0.00 public money was spent on it, I’m all for it.  However I’m not up for municipalities putting up free wi-fi for freeloaders to use. 

Is this a service governments should be providing at public expense?  when I think of essential government services – I think of public safety (cops and firefighters), transportation (roads) and such – not free Internet access.

Believe me, I’m all for free wi-fi – but projects such as Personal Telco are the way to go, in my humble opinion.

I heard a guy on the radio say “I’m all for free wi-fi.  I used to feel obligated to pay a coffee shop for a coffee to use their wi-fi.  Now I can just log on to the free stuff.”  That’s exactly my point.

Anyways.

  • Michael

    “However I’m not up for municipalities putting up free wi-fi for freeloaders to use”

    I think that you might looking at this the wrong way. I am totally up for municipalities putting money into free wi-fi and I will tell you why.

    Think of how much money and resources goes into being reactive. We spend our money on prisons, not schools, and police not prevention. Municipalities putting up free wi-fi is an act of being proactive. All around the world developed and 3rd world nations are putting tremendous amounts of money into government sponsored networks that make our 6MB “Broadband” connections look downright pathetic. Why are they doing this? It is simple, the Internet EMPOWERS PEOPLE and empowered people make strong nations. It is in ALL of our interest to break down the digital divide and put this great power into the hands of as many Americans as possible, for it will benefit us all and help keep American relevant in very uncertain times.

    Our government has stepped in throughout its history to make sure that certain services were available to all at a reasonable cost with great reliability. In my opinion it is downright appalling that we the inventors of the internet are now behind much of the world not only in broadband availability, but in quality and speed.

    Lastly imagine the businesses and opportunities that would arise IF free wi-fi internet was available everywhere. We would be using the internet in ways not yet imagined today spurring economic growth and innovation like nothing before.