May 09, 2005

The Internet as a public utility 

Should public municipalities provide Internet access as a public utility? That's what some cities are doing, like Philadelphia and Seattle, which are in the process of rolling out near-city-wide wireless access grids to connect all citizens with the web. With the Internet becoming an essential channel for information and interaction in the digital age, there could be a strong argument for providing universal access. On the other hand, with so much money at stake in providing Internet access, there's an argument for not undermining the private sector as it competes to provide the best Internet services at competitive prices. Here's a program from NPR's Talk of the Nation which does a nice job of raising some of the issues and arguments. So what do you think?

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