Excerpt: This year’s State of the City address paid little attention to the challenge of ensuring that every Madison home and business has easy, reliable and free access to high-speed Internet service. But that is the essential issue when it comes to connecting Madison to the world.
Madison has not done a good job in this regard. The city is far behind others in the U.S.* and abroad when it comes to ease and reliability. And it has failed when it comes to the essential step, which is ensuring that the services are available to all free of charge.
Cities that are serious about economic and community development recognize that visitors should be able to flip open their laptops and get online without any hassle or charges — especially at airports and in other public spaces. They also recognize citizens should have the same freedom and flexibility in their homes, shops and offices. That’s not the case in Madison. And the city’s failure to get ahead of the technological curve hinders our development far more than does a debate about whether to build a new hotel and condo complex.
*Perhaps Minneapolis was one of the cities the editors had in mind.