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beerbeer

Wireless Hartford one step closer to reality.

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Today, Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez began to make good on his March state of the city pledge to build a wireless network in Hartford that will provide free high-speed Internet access for city residents.

The Request For Qualifications (RFQ) released today by the City of Hartford

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Today, Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez began to make good on his March state of the city pledge to build a wireless network in Hartford that will provide free high-speed Internet access for city residents.

The Request For Qualifications (RFQ) released today by the City of Hartford

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That's great news, but if you're making less than 16K a year, I would think buying a computer would be the biggest problem.

If the city or state had a laptop program like Maine does that could help reduce that burden.

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That's great news, but if you're making less than 16K a year, I would think buying a computer would be the biggest problem. ..........

Nope, and here's why:

A brand spankin new computer with a Pentium 4 can be purchased for a one time fee of around $400. As long as the computer is kept in good shape, it'll last a lifetime. Wireless internet, on the other hand would cost about $250 a year for the rest of the persons life.

Once wireless internet is in place, it'll also give an incentive for the many households who don't currently own a computer, to purchase one.

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Nope, and here's why:

A brand spankin new computer with a Pentium 4 can be purchased for a one time fee of around $400. As long as the computer is kept in good shape, it'll last a lifetime. Wireless internet, on the other hand would cost about $250 a year for the rest of the persons life.

Once wireless internet is in place, it'll also give an incentive for the many households who don't currently own a computer, to purchase one.

If you're on welfare or SSI, $400 is 8% of your yearly income in some cases. :( The program in Maine is a great idea. :D

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Most families, even poor ones have televisions. In the very near future TVs and computers will merge. Both will have the capacity of others.

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If you're on welfare or SSI, $400 is 8% of your yearly income in some cases. :( The program in Maine is a great idea. :D

For a family making $15,000 a year, a $400 computer is 2.5% of their income. I never said it wasn't expensive for a low income family to buy a computer-I was just correcting your assertion that buying a computer is the biggest problem. As I pointed out, the biggest obstacle is paying $20+ a month for internet access.

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The Hartford Public School System can work something out to get laptops to the High School students and the major Hartford area corporations, foundations, and charities can all help get the computers into the hands of students. My main concern is the students, adults can fend for themselves, but the students need to have that access from an early age in order to have the benefits that most of their suburban counterparts take forgranted.

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I agree that the biggest obstacle is the monthly fee, but a government assistance plan that helps families purchase a good, durable desktop pc may be helpful as well. I'm not suggesting free computers, but a 10-20% discount in combination with bulk purchasing could bring prices down further. IMO, paying a few hundred for a pc would help promote a sense of ownership, and ensure that it is properly maintained.

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I honestly think they will need to be free for some students in certain situations. I grew up with people who literally had no parents, these type of kids, in my opinion, could use a few freebies in life.

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I agree that the biggest obstacle is the monthly fee, but a government assistance plan that helps families purchase a good, durable desktop pc may be helpful as well.

Absolutely, the best option would be to cover both the cost of the computer as well as the internet access.

I agree with your last point Tycoon. It would be nice if one of the big companies could donate say $5 million to buy computers for low income kids in the city. That $5 million could buy upwards of 25,000 computers at a discount price ($200).

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The Hartford Public School System can work something out to get laptops to the High School students and the major Hartford area corporations, foundations, and charities can all help get the computers into the hands of students. My main concern is the students, adults can fend for themselves, but the students need to have that access from an early age in order to have the benefits that most of their suburban counterparts take forgranted.

Good Idea...BTW.....most people on government assistance make a lot less than 16K a year. That would be too good to be true. Most make between 7K-12K and 33% goes to housing expenses. I think the concept is great if there was some sort of coalition to get computers in the hands of city residents. The city is overwhelmingly poor and an added amenity of WiFi access is great to a few people that visit, but should not be a priority when this won't benefit the entire city. This was discussed in the Providence thread as well and many people, including myself, think that there are more important priorities than WiFi access. I don't think it's a magnet for business , but rather a "cool" amenity for people that visit and can afford to live here.

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