"Google Inc. is joining EarthLink Inc. in a bid to build a wireless network in San Francisco that would offer basic Internet access for free and charge about $20 per month to surf the Web at higher speeds."Today's Boston Globe editorial, Wireless for Boston gets it wrong:
The cost for individual consumers should be kept as low as possible. Chaska charges $16.99 a month. In Philadelphia the price is expected to be about $20, with a discount for low-income residents. Boston should follow this model, creating a revenue stream, but one with discounts to increase access.Basic internet service should be FREE. EVERYWHERE.
To break down the digital divide, nonprofit organizations should expand programs that train people and provide them with computers. And the report points to development of a $100 laptop, a goal pursued by MIT professors, as another way to increase Internet access.
Free wireless service is an essential part of the system that should be maintained in public library branches and, Tobin argues, be extended to public schools.