Michael Feldman’s Take on the Wi-Fi Summit

Michael Feldman wrote an extensive blog post about his impressions attending yesterday’s Wi-Fi Summit.

Always willing to speak up on subjects he knows little or nothing about, the Dowbrigade asked for, and received, one of the circulating microphones. Our question: “My name is Dowbrigade and I am a Blogger. I am not a MIT graduate, and do not understand a lot of the technology you have been discussing.” (We always like to start our with a self-depreciating comment, to engender sympathy and lower expectations. We neglected to mention that we had graduated from that other Cambridge univeristy). “However, I do understand a little bit about economics. You are talking about offering free wireless internet access to a million people who live or work in the city of Boston, but today powerful companies like Verison and ATT are making millions or billions of dollars selling that same service to the same market. Plus, if free wireless internet is available in Boston people and businesses are going to start using it to make VoIP phone calls, and stop paying the phone companies. Isn’t it unrealistic to think that these companies are going to leave all of those millions of dollars on the table? Do you really think that they are just going to go away?”