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Jan 29

Wireless Washtenaw

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

I’m not going to say that I’m always right, but I’ve gotten a lot of email lately saying just that. For the most part, I get a lot of viewer email asking to join The Theremin All-Stars, but this past week has brought a lof of nice notes from people regarding a wireless Ypsilanti. I had been so busy with the All-Stars, that I missed a little article in the Ann Arbor News about making the whole of Washtenaw county a wireless hotspot by 2007. Preliminary talk is that the service will cost money. That differs from my plan for a community wi-fi network in Ypsi, but not everyone can be a visionary.

A countywide plan is ambitious to say the least. The costs would be staggering considering the network would need to cover 761 square miles. Ypsi, on the other hand, is only 4.2 square miles. With a little work and minimal bureaucratic meddling, we could get ours online by summer and show everyone who’s the real innovative city in the county. Implementing something like this in Ypsi would be a daunting task so it’s probably best to just work on attracting people and businesses to our fair city by implementing an income tax.

Washtenaw’s information technology director David Behan and some of the county commisioners had some excellent quotes regarding this plan:

It gives an attractive piece to retain and attract new business. … If you have mobile workers on your staff, it will make jobs more effective and efficient.

I think it has the potential to be a greater factor in that endeavor than even say tax abatements…Having infrastructure right at the cutting edge could be a reason a company would choose to come here even if taxes or housing prices are a little higher.

[the idea is] really proactive in what we want to do in reaching the rural part of the county…so that people in outlying areas can access just as well as other people and hopefully access it at the same price.

The only thing they missed was the potential a plan has blend with the Cool Cities stuff. They apparently aren’t reading closely enough, but I am encouraged.

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