Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Utilitization of Wireless Internet Service

With Toronto Hydro's recent announcement that it will be blanketing downtown Toronto with WiFi service (free of charge for six months, but then ...), I wonder how long it will be until Internet service becomes truly commoditized/utilitized - sold, offered and serviced not too differently than we think of water, gas or electricity. No more fancy promotions, jazzy packaging, etc., just another municipal service we tend to regard as a staple for each and every household.

Besides the obvious business impact to the existing providers (wasn't running water once considered a premium service?), health issues are still a factor, and not just to typical conspiracy theorist types. The president of Lakehead University, for example, won’t allow campus-wide WiFi until he’s satisfied EMF (electric and magnetic fields) exposure doesn’t pose a health risk, particularly to young people. Other schools, including Concordia and Carleton University are also debating these risks, as described in a recent Canadian IT Business article.


Anonymous Dave said...

Just because that guy at Lakehead is the president does not mean he has all his marbles.

We were just talking at work yesterday about WiFi and one person was saying the same thing you were, that it will eventually become utilitized, possibly sold to us by a public corporation or municipality/city. I kind of think it would suck and there would probably be less freedom in the end...

3/09/2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger Humble Investor said...

Dave - I concur with you about loss of freedom, considering that once a service shifts to a utility it invariably becomes regulated.

3/09/2006 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Question: How did you make those nifty little graph graphics for your financial goals? I'm talking about the ones on your main page. Thanks!

3/10/2006 6:15 AM  
Blogger Humble Investor said...

Hi Tim - Surprisingly, I've had a fair number of people ask about these. I actually 'draw' them using Photoshop - crude, I admit, but effective.

If anyone would like similar graphs (updated monthly) just send me what you want and I would be happy to prepare them for you.

3/10/2006 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Average Joe said...

I was just at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, and they are offering free WiFi internet access within the airport.

3/19/2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger Kassy said...

I think if WiFi becomes utilitized that we'll see a huge degredation in service quality. Personally, I'd rather pay for quality bandwidth.

4/17/2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Re: money said...

What I want to say has nothing to do with money, sorry, but here it is: I live downtown Toronto and really wish they'd ask the people who live and work here if we want to be exposed to such an amount of EMF waves. This stuff goes over fairly long distances and through the buildings. I don't want to be taking on these frequencies. This is potentially 10 times worse than cordless phones that have been proven to cause tumors.

2/28/2007 2:00 AM  

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