Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Arlington way

Arlington goes wireless with free Internet service

Arlington County is asking technology companies to give Internet users something for nothing.

The county wants companies to provide wireless Internet access, or wi-fi, in 10 areas at no cost to the government or the users. Free access would be at about one-fifth the speed of a broadband connection.

Providers would cover their costs through county-approved business plans, such as charging for faster connections and selling online ads.

The Arlington way refers to Arlington's unique political culture that places great emphasis on citizen input and participation. No decision can be made without consulting all stakeholders. This initiative is but one example of the Arlington way in action.

The result is a grassroots political culture that produces a high quality of government services with the lowest taxes in the Greater Washington area. Precisely because all stakeholders are brought into any discussion it is very difficult for the business community or any other group to exert undo pressure. Businesses which are not used to it can get very frustrated.

UPDATE: The Arlington Way AAA rated.

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