Friday, February 23, 2007

Markets and Bureaucracies

Another lovely little tale from this blog to add to the ongoing debate about markets and bureaucracies.


As doubts grow over the approval of San Francisco's proposed deal to build a citywide wireless network with EarthLink, critics of the effort are putting forth alternatives. Like the current plan, negotiated behind closed doors between Mayor Gavin Newsom and the ISP, none of them are anywhere near perfect.

The current plan, which faces an uncertain fate in the Board of Supervisors, would allow EarthLink to own the WiFi network and, though an arrangement with Google, offer a paltry 300 kbps for free and a moderately more tolerable 1Mbps for $22 per month.

We seem to see this again and again, don't we? That of course the planners, those not motivated by profit, driven only by their care and concern for the user: of course they build a better system faster than those bastards just looking to make money.

Amazing how it never turns out that way, isn't it?

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