Public policy by revolving restaurant

Peter Martin has a lovely column in today’s Canberra Times, using a metaphor that will appeal most to his local audience. Pointing out that the Telstra Tower was rendered unnecessary within a few years of its construction, he asks whether Labor’s plan of fibre to the node really is smart public policy.

This reminds me of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2000 outfitting each seat in its classrooms with an ethernet port. A year later, wireless took over, and they issued all their students with a free wireless card. A year after that, all new laptops were wireless capable, and they stopped issuing cards. So far as I know, the ethernet outlets were utilised for about nine months.

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