It should be no surprise that many city governments are giving up plans for government-run, universal Wi-Fi service. It was always foolish to imagine that a top-down, bureaucratic scheme could supply wireless Internet to an entire city at a reasonable price. Wi-Fi has been spreading all over the USA very successfully, thanks to free market entrepreneurs who can adapt to the circumstances of particular locations. One-size-fits-all government plans are inflexible and inefficient. Let’s recognize that 21st century economic freedom, not the failed socialist model of the 19th century, will continue to bring Wi-Fi to more consumers.
David B. Kopel is the author of the book Antitrust after Microsoft, and writes on technology issues for the Heartland Institute in Chicago.