High Speed Wireless Internet in Redmond


Tonight, the Redmond City Council voted unanimously to approve my proposal to support the provision of ubiquitous, high speed, wireless Internet connectivity citywide...with minor modifications. Like any good politician (I am neither good nor politician but occasionally experience moments of transcendental goodness in the presence of true politicas like my mother, Laura John, and Councilwoman Nancy McCormick), I am compelled to characterize the council's revisions to the orignial policy proposal as a net improvement over the Planning Commission's draft*.

It is.

The final policy** is now a permanent fixture of Redmond's 20-year vision statement: the Comprehensive Plan. In future years, community development guidelines, city ordinances, and mayoral decisions which abide by the spirit of the following policy will be written, re-written, vetted, argued over, approved by the City Council or Mayor and implemented by both private interests and the hardworking and innovative employees of the City of Redmond.

*Planning Commission draft proposal:   "Support efforts to provide wireless internet access citywide. Consider a pilot program as part of the feasibility evaluation."

**Council-approved Policy ""Recognize the importance to businesses, residents, and visitors of access to the internet and support efforts to provide affordable, high speed wireless internet access citywide."

In twenty years, if not earlier, anyone who can afford a wireless device (i.e., anyone) and can stumble into Redmond, WA, USA will be able to tap into the endless richness of the World Wide Web at relatively little expense, if not "free"...even those who are temporarily homeless or penniless. 

Since democracy is a fleeting dream, I'd like to extend a special word of thanks to the following folks for keeping it real: Commissioner Kim Allen, Commissioner Suzanne Querry, Councilwoman Nancy McCormick, little 'd' democrat Laura John, Mayor Rosemarie Ives, Councilmember Pat Vache, and Peter Robinson.

Comments (10)

  1. Scott Allen says:

    Congrats, Korby. If you ever run for president – you have my vote! 🙂

  2. Add Redmond, Wash., Los Angeles, and San Francisco to the list of municipalities considering building citywide Wi-Fi networks: The Redmond City Council just approved a proposal to support wireless Internet. The mayor of L.A. created a panel that will create a report looking at the role that Wi-Fi can play in attracting business in L.A. and the role the city should play in making sure the access is available to residents. San Francisco’s mayor boldly pledged to make sure that every resident has access to free wireless Internet service. He also suggests that no resident should be without a computer. Some of these pronouncements smack of politicians latching onto a buzzword in an attempt to show their support for the everyman. We’ve discussed here the potential issues with cities paying to build Wi-Fi networks in potential competition to commercial ventures. I’m curious to see if some of these studies end up reporting on the response that hotspot operator have to the prospect of competition from the city….

  3. Suzanne says:

    We have a long way to go for this to be a reality in Redmond, but it takes thought leaders like you! Thanks for your efforts and your acknowledgement.

  4. Bob Yoder says:

    …..occasionally experience moments of transcendental goodness in the presence of true politicas like my mother, Laura John, and Councilwoman Nancy McCormick…

    I like that, Korby. Congrats on your wireless project’s success.

  5. Bob Yoder says:

    …..occasionally experience moments of transcendental goodness in the presence of true politicas like my mother, Laura John, and Councilwoman Nancy McCormick…

    I like that, Korby. Congrats on your wireless project’s success.

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