Saturday, September 02, 2006

When Offered Slice of Broadband Pie, Telecom Corporations Take the Pie

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's destuction of New Orleans, telecom lobbyists had the nerve to try to force closure of the loophole that allowed the city's public Wi-Fi system to run during such natural disasters. Last September New Orleans officials fired up the city's Wi-Fi network as the primary conduit for information in the Big Easy and to the outside world.

God forbid that Nashville ever face a disaster of even a fraction of the magnitude of the worst natural disaster in American history. God forbid it for our welfare. God forbid it because corporate telecom and local civic leaders have shut the possibility of public Wi-Fi down here before it could ever get started.

Can you even imagine how the suits are drooling at the prospect of making money off of broadband in times of relative ease, and then making even more money in disasterous times when consumers' backs are against the wall? These guys never miss a turn. And the rest of us are left with a prospect that is more grave in an emergency situation: to be beholden to private money-making interests who care little about the public good.

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