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Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down


Over at eWeek, this week’s column is about the big fight that’s starting to erupt between cities – San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia and perhaps New York – and the big telephone and cable companies.
The cities are building wireless networks. It’s a great way to make tourists happy, fix what’s wrong with cell phone service – here in San Francisco, we play a game called “name the dead spots” – and prove you’re cool. Big telcos – most of whom run cell phone companies – don’t like it. Cuts into their business. Whats worse they say: Cities and towns are using tax dollars to compete against them.
They could use a little competition. Doing interviews for the piece – one with a spokesman for the Cellular Telephone Industry Association, one with the guy who runs Austin Wireless – their phones cut out. Went dead. They had to call me back.
And, no, I’m not making that up.

In other wireless news: Tom Friedman provides even more proof – as if it were needed – of the New York Times’ myopia. They really can’t see past the Hudson.
The fights over wireless in Texas and Philadelphia took up much of this past Winter and Spring but to cover this issue, Friedman, who has traveled the world and don’t you forget it, writes about Andrew Rasiej and his campaign to wire New York. Now, I’m working for Rasiej this summer; I’m the interim editor at Personal Democracy Forum. So I’m definitely not making fun of him. No, I’m making fun of Friedman who says that the next president should put Internet access on his “to-do” list.
Well, Tom, take a look at the sponsors of the legislation I’m talking about in the eWeek column and you’ll see Sen. John McCain’s name. McCain wants to be president.
Conventional wisdom has it that McCain can’t win as an independent. But there are plenty of self-styled ‘netizens’ who might be talked into working for the man, particularly if he keeps them plugged in. Those are the folks – Progressive Libertarians – to whom a third party, “straight-talker” like McCain could appeal.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:03 AM | Permalink

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