August 05, 2005

The Cell Phone that Doesn't Ring

Like Holmes' famous dog that didn't bark, Tom Friedman's cellphone that doesn't ring is interesting because of what isn't happening. What isn't happening in the NYC subways is that small, innovative upstarts aren't jumping in to provide service in little patches. It's not like there isn't space down there. I'm sure the magazine seller in xyz station wouldn't mind at all if somebody provided a regular, stable income for him by renting out a small portion of his kiosk. So why isn't it happening?

I would guess that microtowers don't happen because the regulatory environment doesn't let it happen. The FCC would have to approve as well as the various transport bureaucracies in the NYC subway. Somewhere along the line is a group of bureaucrats who don't look kindly on upstarts and is adept at squashing them, so adept that people have stopped bothering to try.

So, is a government program the answer? Only if you want increased inefficiency and poor service. The real solution is to identify the blocking government action, remove it, and let the free market fix the problem.

Posted by TMLutas at August 5, 2005 06:53 AM