Okay, it's ironic that I'm being cited in a Heartland Institute article: The article, written by a research director at the Pacific Research Institute, criticizes San Francisco's broad, possibly somewhat unnecessary efforts at building citywide Wi-Fi. PRI is based in San Francisco. The article has some problems in the details, and I've written the author. I wasn't misquoted, but I'd rein in the scope as I was referring specifically to the problem of achieving all parameters, not building the network at all. SF will be hard-pressed to not pay its winning bidder a cent but require service cheaper than comparable offerings.
However, I, too, am scared at a "Wi-Fi or bust" mentality that SF has demonstrated time and again. Other cities with arms'-length plans--like Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis--may have some issues with essentially franchising a private provider, but they also will spend not a dime and aren't dictating monthly subscriber rates while having a longer chunk of time to consider bidders who will have longer to build a network. (Portland wants some free-for-short-periods-of-time or bandwidth-limited-free access, but it's not the point of the network.)
I've spent way too much time on this subject matter--detractors and supporters of municipal networks, which often goes far beyond Wi-Fi and broadband wireless--taking apart reports like this, and there are some elements of this one that I'd praise. Instead, I'll post reader comments (follow the link below) and link to other sites that comment on this.
But I can't just be quoted in a Heartland Institute article and not, you know, comment on (and honestly enjoy) the irony. Hard to call me 100-percent one-sided biased know-nothing if I'm quoted by one side of this debate's principal ideological organization. ('Course I'm not either pro- or anti-muni.)