Saturday, May 17, 2008

Aransas Pass and WiFi

There's a big brouhaha going on about a kind of wireless computer connectivity known as WiFi, since many people want it here on SPI. I originally supported the concept when Fred Mallet brought it up several years ago. Since then, not much has progressed about WiFi here and Fred moved to Aransas Pass.

Aransas Pass does not have municipal WiFi.

Now this is interesting because I have a serious case of "Aransas Pass Envy." Their park system is incredible and they put on a sand castle festival that is five times better than ours. Their marinas are really something, with lots of beach, bay, and offshore access. The beach might not be as nice as SPI but on just about every other account, for the same-sized town they have us beat, hands down.

So why did they not get municipal WiFi?

I don't have the luxury of having any exact reasons, town council discussions, or whatever but their Chamber of Commerce and other town links heavily promotes private WiFi as a tourist benefit and as a key strategy. Condos, rentals, restaurants, and bars heavily promote WiFi access. Once again, I'm getting a serious case of Aransas Pass Envy.

At least this isn't a boondoggle like the second causeway to SPI that would cost in numbers of hundreds of millions. But our Banana Republic political mentality sometimes leads to some very strange outcomes, such as rejecting ferry service (Aransas Pass, check), or municipal WiFi (not).

My point all along is that I support municipal WiFi but I wanted the budget numbers. None are available, and I'm starting to wonder if this is something that should be better done by private enterprise and not our Town. I'd rather invest in infrastructure, such as ... well we do have one public restroom to serve 5 miles of beach, I guess. Sometimes I worry about this place.


Rob Nixon said...

The Laguna Vista City Manager looked into town wide wifi and she seemed to convey that it would result in a pretty stiff increase in city taxes for LV.

Apparently it is very expensive.

Mike said...

Your City Manager does not want to undercut local business from profiting from Wifi...Ha, ha!

Sam said...

Hmm, never thought about that. It is rather pricey stuff.

Lucinda said...

Sam, I think you are talking about Port Aransas - Aransas Pass is a different critter.

And I would also like to point out that we have TWO (not one) public restrooms on the beach.

In general, I agree with your assessment.

Anonymous said...

You hang in there, Sam. The ferry system idea was something I had not thought about. It is very interesting.

Will Davis