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  • Daniel Ribau

City-wide Wi-Fi, Good or Bad?

With everything moving to the digital space it’s challenging to be fully involved in society without having readily available access to the Internet. For many people, being able to afford large data plans for their mobile devices is a challenge; and this is a question of whether or not they should have to. The modern-day Internet is arguably the greatest innovation of this generation, and everybody reading this would be hard-pressed to deny this statement. The real underlying issue is whether or not having access to the Internet should be a human right; None of us can deny it improves the quality of life. There are organizations that are even testing free wireless Internet access in third-world countries and figuring out the best means to do so. This is a debate that’s already being—and has been—discussed.

The idea is that people could walk around anywhere they wanted, from sidewalks, to parks, to the comfort of their home, and have access to a wireless Internet connection on their devices—for free. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost, and the question is whether or not the government and your tax dollars should be paying for this. With free wireless Internet access already being provided at a number of locations including public libraries, coffee shops, sports venues, museums, and a list of others, is this really necessary? A number of cities around the world have already implemented this, some successfully, others, not so much—with a number pulling the project.

The infrastructure would be incredibly costly, but a number of people could benefit from it. I’m not here to pick a side, just stir the pot and get the conversation going. I do, however, believe this isn’t something that should just be skimmed over, it’s a real potential, and like many other things in our technological world, will surely grow.

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