Do Muni Advocates Fear the Big Apple?

Despite glowing out-of-town notices in Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans, municipal wireless advocates are concerned that the show might flop on Broadway. That’s why some of the most vocal proponents of municipal wireless, including Andrew Rasiej, a municipal technology consultant in New York, are urging city officials there to delay, or perhaps halt, any muni wireless plans. “The worst thing that could happen is for the city to try to build one these networks and have it fail,” Rasiej said. “It would set the whole muni Wi-Fi movement way back.” In other words, failure on as visible a stage as the Big Apple would so shake the doctrinal foundation of the municipal wireless movementââ?¬â??that local governments can do a better job than the competitive market at delivering reliable, inexpensive broadband service–that it’s best if muni didn’t go there at all.

Steven Titch served as a policy analyst at Reason Foundation from 2004 to 2013.

Titch's work primarily focused on telecommunications, the Internet and new media. He is a former managing editor of InfoTech & Telecom News (IT&T News) published by the Heartland Institute. His columns have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Total Telecom, and America's Network, among others.

Prior to joining Reason in 2004, Titch covered the telecommunications industry as a journalist for more than two decades. Titch was director of editorial projects for Data Communications magazine where he directed content development for supplemental publications and special projects. He has also held the positions of editorial director of Telephony, editor of Global Telephony magazine, Midwest bureau chief of CommunicationsWeek, and associate editor-communications at Electronic News.

Outside of the telecom industry, Titch conducted rich media and content development for publishers and corporate marketing groups. He has also developed and launched his own web-based media, including, an on-line resource for the security industry.

Titch graduated cum laude from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and English.