Letters to the Editor


What about wireless?

Broadband wireless appears to be what the compact disc was to the cassette tape. Consider how far wireless technology has come in 10 or 15 years. In 1990, a cell phone cost $500. In 1995, "bag-phones" cost $150, and all you could do with it was talk, if you happen to be in range of a tower. Today the phones are almost as small as a credit card, and the wireless companies give free phones and free long distance calling with many plans. Phones can take pictures, videos, send and receive e-mail, play games, find your location on Earth with GPS and more. Blackberry, Palm and other types of PDAs are essential tools for business people on the move.

Wireless, beyond the phone, is here now. It's not just limited to the home or the office. Whole communities are cutting the cord to copper and fiber. While fiber-optic loops are the backbone of the infrastructure for these networks carrying data from a tower to a fixed network management system and back to a tower, the need for hardwired connections to a home or business are becoming less and less necessary.

When we begin to evaluate the plan for the LUS fiber-to-the-home project, we should look to the past as a barometer for what the future will offer. What will telecom look like in 2015 or 2020? I believe that it will be a creature that none of us can imagine today.

I hope that our local government officials are not trying to use public funding to buy a new cassette tape player the week before compact disc players hit the stores. Since their cassette player will cost our community $125 million and take 20 years to pay off, great scrutiny is demanded.