Earthlink/Free Wifi: Always a terrible idea

There are some things so intuitively obvious, there should be no reason to comment on them. However, I find that when I _do_ comment on them, people are the most impressed so here goes.

The Earthlink plan to provide free wifi to Philly would never have worked. This is dead easy. What’s in it for Earthlink? Since they charge for wifi, providing it for free would just undercut their own business. Right? So why do it?

1. Other corporations were competing to do it. So retarded compeditive people often compete even against their own best interests as “winning” is their biggest goal.

2. They get free advertising so they can masquerade as some kind of charity organization. People will then give them money somehow.

3. To stop a grassroots movement from forming that could provide a viable alternative to Earthlink and teach their customers that they don’t need to pay for internet ever and that the internet is a basic right.

Why would city politicians go with Earthlink and not a grassroots organization:

1. Grass is not as good of a kickback as corporate cash is.

2. Corporations have a long history of doing what is best for the People. Thus they have a great reputation for being good partners in business. No corporation ever went back on a deal, defrauded people, or destroyed the environment they pledge to protect. Contrast this with crazy “hippie” grassroots nutbags. These people want to give away free internet? They clearly must have an “agenda” and “agendas” are bad even though we can’t quite articulate what this all means.

But, but, if Earthlink would be cutting its own throat, why would they ever set up a wifi network?

Answer. They failed. They claimed a huge loss on paper then they sued the city to release it from the contract that it fought so hard for.

So where’s the grass roots effort. I don’t know. The grass roots people have a few problems:

1. They had no purpose since Earthlink was going to do it, why do all that hard work when the corporate network was going to be bigger and better?

2. The city didn’t support it because they trusted Earthlink.

3. Earthlink and friends helped to make it illegal for wireless to be served out by the city without their approval. Why the hell would anyone pass that law? See list above for why anyone would go with Earthlink at all. It’s all there.

So once again, we have an example of watching a car crash from a helicoptor. You know what’s going to happen, but you are helpless to stop it.

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