I don't say that to be catty: Charlotte, S.C., is in the admirable position of having a high level of broadband penetration and a high level of Internet usership, David Haskin reports from a panel at the Interop trade show. They're not comfortable with a private firm handling their public safety network because the meetings they've had don't lead to confidence: vendors who have talked with them balk at 99.9 percent (or better, 99.999 percent) uptime. The city has no digital divide initiative, and doesn't see a case for businesses being more inclined to come to Charlotte.
I fear this is the same situation in Seattle. Much as I'd love at least an outdoor, mobility-oriented Wi-Fi network across my home city, we have so much bloody access, it's hard to make the case. While I have had offices in parts of town that seem relatively close in and not been able to get DSL, it's generally true that DSL and cable are available either as two good options or one or the other throughout much of the city. Likewise, we have four competing cellular data network, Clearwire, and the largest number of unwired Starbucks, as well as hundreds of free Wi-Fi hotspots. Plus Wi-Fi zones run by the city in parts of town and run by private enterprise in others.