First, cities aren't subsidizing or maintaining these networks. Anaheim, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee are examples of cities where a company such as EarthLink is building, owning, and operating the network without cost to the city.
Second, the reason that municipal Wi-Fi is being deployed is because other technologies have failed.
In general, municipal Wi-Fi is succeeding because of the improved communications benefits it provides to mainstream and low-income residents, businesses, city workers, and emergency personnel that haven't been otherwise possible. An estimated 5 million American homes and 800 cities worldwide will be covered in 2006. That's a lot of people benefiting from municipal cooperation combined with private-sector investment.
Senior Director of Marketing, Tropos Networks, Sunnyvale, Calif.
Real Change At CA
Your article on CA's transformation reflects our experience ("About Face," March 6, 2006). It was with some trepidation that we became a CA Channel Partner a year and a half ago, having dealt with the "800-pound gorilla" in the past. But as far as we're concerned, this isn't the same company, and the difference is in the people. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and willingness of CA staffers to help us make crucial sales. They've put the "partner" back into the channel.
Don't you find it strange that Google has two sets of standards for dealing with governments ("Choose Your Intrusion: Who's Your Friend?" March 20, 2006)? With the United States it's deny; with the Chinese it's what else can we do for you to restrict information?
President, Arara Communications, Orlando, Fla.
More Isn't Always Better
I'm on board with your take about not resisting the wave of consumerism that drives innovation in the tech market, but my only complaint is that vendors don't seem to see the inventions through to their logical conclusions ("The Consumer Effect," March 13, 2006). There's no greater example than the cell phone. Designers and manufacturers have spent millions giving us phones that take photos, text message, access the Web, and act as calculators and phone books. Why are we still faced with poor sound quality and dropped signals?
I'm all for technological change as long as it includes improvement.
Gregory J. Winters
President, PC Business Solutions Warren, Mich.
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