Someone was telling me how, two years ago, they commented that Google is basically Microsoft 2.0.
Big companies follow a pattern. Evil ensues. Rinse, wash, repeat.
WiFi is a municipal matter. Connectivity should be considered a public good.
While quality of service is certainly important — and someone like Google, with its oodles of dollars — can probably ensure adequare coverage and uptime, that’s still not the issue. Communities are resilient when left up to their own devices.
I mean, look at Indian traffic (something I experienced firsthand in Bangalore). You wouldn’t think that it’d work — there’s practically no rules — but y’know what? Almost because the drivers are the ones responsible alone for their fate, they pay better attention, drive more cautiously and use their horns for communication instead of anger. It works — and it’s not just because of some kind of pacifist disposition inherit in Indians.
Point is, okay, that Google is interested in behavior. They’ve shown that they’re interested in 1) selling advertisements 2) pleasing their investors. Innovation is a means to an end. None of these things are intrinsically bad. Guns don’t kill people, robots do. Capitalism didn’t ask to become the scourge of our age, but dammit, someone severed the hand of Adam Smith a long time ago.
Anyway, here’re my two beefs du jour with the GoogleNet plan. Equal distribution. I simply don’t believe that privatized systems give a shit about under performing, under represented or unprofitable ventures. Oh yeah, that’s why they have philanthropic arms (yeah, ok, tell me if this makes sense: poison the environment while contributing to the Sierra Club?).
Second issue? Competition. State-sponsored monopolies suck.
Oh, and hell, toss in one point five more: Network Neutrality and the fact that it’s unnecessary. Here’s an alternative plan — just like you can buy your electricity and cable from multiple vendors, I’d like to be able to get my WiFi from the vendor of my choice. With prices falling all the time for the tech, that’s not the problem. Google wants to lock down the market. With technologies like WiMax available and being deployed elsewhere, seriously, we don’t need the Google Machine monopolizing this space.
You remember there was this company that embedded its browser in its OS and was forced to offer alternatives after an extremely costly (to taxpayers) legal battle? Give it 5-10 years and you’ll see a similar battle over embedding one company’s ads and search services in the state-sponored privately-run WiFi network.
But I’m jess sayin.