Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jamming to Broadband

AOL announced that they are going to raise the price of their 56K dialup from $23 to $25 to be the same as their Broadband service. I have a coupld of questions about this.

  • Who is not paying 2$ a month more for broadband?
  • Of those who is going to pay 2$ a month more for the existing 56K connection?
  • What has taken so long?

I have had broadband (either DSL or Cable) now for almost 2 years. I used to say that "I don't use the internet for anything", but I realize now that I just couldn't use the internet for anything. It's not that the content I was looking for was too time consuming, but the advertisements on the same screen would take forever to download and keep me from reading the content. I'm not very patient when it comes to that. Now I use the internet daily. I post to my blogs. I watch news clips, listen to podcasts, (particularly Piano by Joel) and read content. I read lots of blogs and news articles. I keep up mostly on my baseball addiction with the web.

In related news, Chicago is trying to be a Wi-Fi hotspot. Yes the entire city is going to be a 224 mile Wi-Fi hotspot. Thanks to this article in InformationWeek I see that Chicago already has the 3rd most hotspots for a city in the country. I'm excited that an entire city will have this WiFi capability. I wonder how they are going to generate any revenue from this. How can we say that tax money goes to pay for a citywide WiFi network, but only the poor can use it. If it's tax money paying for it, then everyone should also be allowed to use it. If the poor don't get a free ride and this is going to earn it's own way by charging a fee, then charge the same fee to everyone. I expect that any broadband providers that are already operating in Chicago are not happy about this. Will Wi-Fi eliminate the competition from broadband vendors? How many people will stop subscribing to AOL and start using public Wi-Fi networks? There are some interesting things that will come out of cities providing Wi-Fi networks. I'm not sure how much of it is socialist policy and how much is just trying to be too much. Maybe cities are finally trying to earn their money rather than just taxing for it.