Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm informed by my superior other that I'm using the posting mechanism wrong, so I'll try to remember to post from my assigned slot instead of the one for the hoi polloi.

Interesting discussion today about the difficulties in improving the lot of the public when it involves their making a slight, albeit profitable, change in their life. The example?

AT&T charges about $45 for their fake 20 mbps internet feed, which is typically oversubscribed until it peaks at 4 mbps. I live in a compact cooperative of 450 apartments on 19 acres, 162 buildings. I administer a self-built and financed wireless network of 12 nodes which services about fifty customers a day on a 6 mbps honest feed, for which I pay $50 a month. I ask for an optional donation of $20 a quarter, but only a few people actually pay it, since the only advantage to paying is that the 2.0 mbps speed limit is removed. Nonetheless, I limp along. It's gratifying because some of the "parasites" or "freeloaders" are people so poor they can barely afford their computer or smartphone.

But the board of directors of the cooperative won't cooperate by supplying space on the administration building for a master antenna, and refuses to subsidize the operation, Their reasons for refusal are the interesting part. "It's too complicated." This from a corporation with a $1.5 million budget, in the middle of a similar-sized sewer replacement budget, ~9 employees, and they're obtaining grants from the city to cover part of the sewer expenses.

With another dozen nodes, we could supply every computer and wireless phone in the village with signal. For another thousand dollars, we could tap into an 80mbps free signal from The Internet Archive by erecting an antenna on the admin building.

So far, no go. Every request founders on weird objections. Bad axioms.

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