The government needs more nodes: Various agencies want to seed cities with wireless networking devices (image from a DOD document).
Despite the high costs and unproven social benefits for municipal broadband, dozens of U.S. cities are ignoring laws banning anti-competitive practices and getting into the internet business.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense is planning to build robots that configure themselves into ad hoc wireless networks within urban areas.
City mayors claim they want to provide free and low-cost Wi-Fi access to the poor and attract business travelers. Defense planners say they need to have broadband capabilities in urban war zones.
But rather than closing the “digital divide” (which many academics admit is being exaggerated), or providing a redundant service to traveling salesmen, it appears that officials aim to seize control of internet communications and track individuals in urban areas.
Military and law enforcement agencies will also use the wireless networks to stage “hard PSYOP” attacks against a brain-chipped populace, according to historian and commentator Alan Watt, who specializes in secret societies and government intelligence operations.
Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, and Providence, R.I. are among the cities partnering with private companies and the federal government to set up public broadband internet access. Providence used Homeland Security funds to construct a network for police, which may be made available to the public at a later date.
None of the cities are expected to turn a profit anytime soon. Nor are the poor likely to benefit from the projects.
Subscribers to Philly’s “Wireless Philadelphia” service, for example, will pay up to 73 percent more than the rate promised to them two years ago.
“(Philadelphia) presented dangerously inaccurate estimates and figures for the costs and revenue” for its wireless network, according to a recent analysis by students at Harvard Law School. Continue reading