Lubbock’s NBC affiliate is reporting that the City of Lubbock is preparing to begin another initiative to revitalize the downtown sector of the city. The story hasn’t been posted to the KCBD website yet, but when it is, I’ll post it.
Almost every city in America is struggling with a downtown revitalization project of some sort. However, this news has me thinking of several stories I’ve read the past few years of initiatives to introduce free wireless internet service to downtown areas in an effort to deliver customers to economically down-turned areas.
What about free wireless internet in downtown Lubbock?
Imagine sitting in an outdoor coffee shop, park, bar, or shopping center in downtown Lubbock and surfing the web.
It’s my belief downtown Lubbock hasn’t evolved much since the 1970s, with the exception of several law offices and a handful of restaurants. Maybe its time to allow downtown Lubbock to evolve into a modern day business environment – one with wireless connectivity.
An environment like this would be conducive to an audience that would bring businesses to merchants. Seattle is doing it, and so is my hometown of Urbana, Illinois.
Similarly, free wireless internet might be one more step to bridging the gap between East Lubbock, which borders downtown Lubbock and has fallen significantly behind in terms of economic development, education, and connectivity. By opening the internet to more people, we provide people with options and education. This might be a good way to draw business to downtown Lubbock while at the same time meeting a social need.
UPDATE: Here’s the KCBD story
I noticed on the linked KCBD story, it implied that all the restoration needed was support from the local businesses.In my opinion, if businesses want to upgrade downtown, then all that they need to do is to negotiate and purchase the “dilapidated” buildings, and restore them themselves. They would be ethically able to cash-in on their investment. If property taxes from other neighborhoods are used, then the ownership of the taxpayer restored areas should be transfered to the taxpayers. Not the government, or the businesses.If restaurants wish to broadcast WIFI to their customers for free, then they may do so. But I am holding reservations for broadcasting wifi all across downtown at the taxpayers expense.The biggest beneficiaries would be wealthy lawyers that probably already subscribe to nationwide wireless anyway.How about schools broadcasting wifi so that their students can go online while at home. The signal radius should be similar to the radius of drug free zones (1000 feet from school property). Bandwidth does not need to be high. 250 kbps should be sufficient per remote terminal