Matt Hartley wrote an impressively balanced article on free wifi in today’s Globe and Mail: Free My Wifi. (I particularly appreciate the teaser on the front page of the Globe: “Is WiFi the future or the past?”) The first line refers to the WT spot at Harbourfront Centre, the article quotes WT friend Catherine Middleton, and Hartley graciously gives me the last word: “An effort to make Internet access more easily and cheaply available to low-income residents of the city seems like a great initiative. But the devil is always in the details.”
As the article mentions, Councillor Minnen-Wong is still working out the details of his plan to provide free wifi in the city’s public housing. We haven’t spoken with him yet, but hope to soon. His project is ambitious, and — we suspect — would be prohibitively expensive if implemented following a traditional approach to IT management. A community approach — besides being cheaper — could have a wide range of unexpected benefits, like creating opportunities for inter-generational and -cultural collaboration.