The Politics of Wireless Philadelphia

The New York Times has one of the better articles I have read in recent times on the strained yet working relationship between the city of Philadelphia and its biggest and most famous corporate citizen, Comcast. The two entities are having a lovers spat, over the city’s decision to build a wireless network. Earthlink is the company that is building that network. One point which is most important is buried in the story.

But the attraction of Wireless Philadelphia to its proponents is that it is a stand-alone, affordable network – not part a broader effort to sell video, voice and data services, the way companies like Comcast and Verizon have approached broadband.

I hope this is going to force the incumbents to change their approach and start offering standalone broadband. Naked DSL or Naked Cable Broadband is what we need. I get my broadband access from Comcast, along with basic cable, which I almost never watch. I pay around $60. If they offered me 10 megabits per second, instead of 3 megabits per second speeds I get now, they can still charge me more. But for things I want, not for things they force down my throat.

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