William H. Magill on 26 Aug 2005 03:22:43 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] "geek-net" (was: FYI - FIOS/DCAnet)

On 25 Aug, 2005, at 09:41, Bob Leming intoned:
Could this have real applicability in the Digital Divide issue? A way to
provide viable, affordable access within the home to a city block e.g.?

Yes, but not really.

Is this a way that a Community Technology Center could expand its work to
provide home access in the surrounding community? Perhaps only after the
hours that the Center was active?

The basic problem is connectivity to the outside world; Who is going to fund it.

While it would be relatively easy to provide connectivity BETWEEN the users of such a network, the issue becomes -- Who is going to pay for the connection OFF "geek-net" to the Internet on an on-going basis.

This is actually one of the biggest issue for the City's Wireless Philadelphia game.

Virtually no Community Technology Center has the money to pay for their Internet Connection. They all depend upon some "gift" from somebody -- City, Fed, Wm Penn Foundation, etc. -- to pay for that connection. And most all such "gifts" (or grants) are one-time only deals ... they do not pay for "ongoing operations."

There are all kinds of funding proposals around to provide for the initial Capital Equipment Costs, but nobody is willing to address the Operational Costs. And it is always easy to get funding for the "pilots," but nobody is willing to pay for the expansion of the program beyond the Pilots.

The City's proposed Wireless network is "sort of" a pay-as-you-go network. While the end user pays a fee to use it, somebody has to pay for the "T" lines (or whatever) that will connect that mesh to the Internet at large. Which is to say, there is a Capital Investment needed (on a monthly basis) to provide the basic connectivity.

This issue has come up multiple times in the City's meetings -- It's the first thing that the various "Community Technology Centers" ask -- Where can we get the money to pay for this?

T.T.F.N. William H. Magill # Beige G3 [Rev A motherboard - 300 MHz 768 Meg] OS X 10.2.8 # Flat-panel iMac (2.1) [800MHz - Super Drive - 768 Meg] OS X 10.4.1 # PWS433a [Alpha 21164 Rev 7.2 (EV56)- 64 Meg] Tru64 5.1a # XP1000 [Alpha 21264-3 (EV6) - 256 meg] FreeBSD 5.3 # XP1000 [Alpha 21264-A (EV 6.7) - 384 meg] FreeBSD 5.3 magill@mcgillsociety.org magill@acm.org magill@mac.com whmagill@gmail.com

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