Mayor Gavin Newsom's office tried to garner good press by selling his efforts to bring free Wi-Fi to San Francisco as an effort to bring broadband to the poor, under the auspices of Project Tech Connect. Commercial partners Google and EarthLink just wanted to sell location-targeted ads with a franchise agreement to shut out competitors. Now Brewster Kahle's nonprofit Internet Archive has done what Newsom, Google and EarthLink couldn't. No, not hold yet another press conference. Kahle actually brought 100-megabit-per-second broadband to low-income households.
The secret? Piggybacking on the existing, municipally owned fiber-optic infrastructure and connecting to the Internet backbone through the Internet Archive's switches. Yes, the same municipal infrastructure that Google openly mocked last April. Three cheers for actual altruism, and not profit-seeking self-interest marketed as altruism! (Photo by AP/Ben Margot)