October 03, 2005

Market growth and advocacy at the Muni Wireless conference

At 150 people were expected, but over 350 people came to the San Francisco Muni Wireless conference.

At the keynote session, Esme Vos shared the results of a market study predicting a $400 million market by 2007. The point person on San Francisco's TechConnect project described the goals of Mayor Newsom's plan to unwire the city.

Jim Baller and Harold Feld put the policy issues in the context of a long fight against incumbent-led restrictions, and the related need for open spectrum.

In a breakout session Laura Arnold of Indiana and I talked about defeating state-level muni broadband bans. In Indiana, the municipal association came out against the bill early, and it died a quiet death. In Texas the fight was longer and tougher, but strong support from the high-tech industry and Texas communities prevented the passage of a municipal broadband ban.

It was great to hear the cheers in the room responding to a vision of connectivity for all, and it was encouraging to hear the shared assumption that governments have the right and the duty to provide civic infrastructure.

Posted by alevin at October 3, 2005 12:56 AM