Akron Ohio could have been Internet Utopia.
So writes Bob Dyer of the Akron Beacon Journal, as he documents the crash and burn status of this Utopian dream.
Since 2002, Akron, Ohio has been working toward Universal Access to Free Internet / Wi Fi for anyone within a 62 square mile radius. The initiative was called Connect Akron No longer would there be the haves and he have-nots. Everyone would get government provided Internet Access.
Well, $6 Million dollars, 11 years, and hundreds of hours later, the program is a total failure with
only limited ZERO coverage. It seems the visionaries did not anticipate the challenges of providing coverage in the city. They also did not anticipate the free market solutions to the issue either….namely smart phones, wi-fi coffee shops and Paneras.
Dyer quotes: The city’s chief information technology officer, Rick Schmahl, who inherited this mess, says continuing Connect Akron made no sense now that “everybody [is] carrying smartphones with Internet speeds faster than what Connect Akron was able to deliver.”
Connectakron.org is still live on the web. Its latest blog entry was in 2009. Apparently they have not turned all of the lights out yet.
One would think that free wireless access to a small city like Akron, Ohio would be doable. Especially with $6 Million and 11 years. Kinda makes me wonder what the results will be with Obamcare and its 1.6 TRILLION Budget.