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2006 03 07
Toronto’s Wireless Cloud

The Wi-Fi cloud is finally descending on our city and we have to celebrate. Toronto Hydro is announcing a new service that will blanket the city with wireless Internet access. Rumour has it that one of the city's largest provider of wireless services, Ted Rogers, is not happy. We can't feel too sorry for Rogers and Bell though. They have long known that ubiquitous connectivity is inevitable and I'm sure they've planned for it.

Now, they may go to the CRTC and claim that government institutions like city electric companies should not compete with the private sector in the convergent media space. Normally I'd agree. The government is a poor supplier of non-essential consumer services. But this is different. Internet connectivity is as much an essential part of life in the 21st century as water and electrical services. Cities around the world are opening their wireless gateways. If Torontonians don't have the same kind of infrastructure then we'll be at a competitive disadvantage. So, if government makes the decision to impede the democratization of wireless there is a good chance that our economy will suffer in the long term.

There are other reasons to celebrate. The poor will now have equal access to wireless. There will be an explosion of products and services for the new market. How will this affect you?

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 03/07 at 01:51 PM

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