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Should the world receive free WiFi?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2014 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 857 times Debate No: 53657
Debate Rounds (3)
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I believe that people should receive free wifi, at no charge to them. Google supports the idea, calling it a "breakthrough in the world of technology". Brazil and Germany have joined in on the act, and offer free wifi almost anywhere, including residential homes. I mean, its all information, so why should we be charged to be curious? To help our education? To explore the endless opportunities out there for us? You decide.

I am open to any and all viewpoints. I want to use this evidence in one of my debate papers. Support your thinking, and good luck!!


Hello. I am glad to be debating with you on this interesting topic.

Although the idea is a "breakthrough", as Google describes it, it wouldn't be free per say. Let's analyze the examples you provide, Germany and Brazil. First of all, though, I wish to address Google’s comment. It is a biased remark; of course they support free WiFi, because it would increase their search numbers dramatically. When they describe it as a “breakthrough”, consider who is speaking. That is a biased remark.

I searched "WiFi in Germany" first. One of the sites that I found on the topic will be listed below [1], but it does not sound as if "they offer free WiFi everywhere". In summary, the site lists places in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and other large cities; surprisingly, there were few free public Wi-Fi sources to be such large cities. The same results for Brazil [2]. I do not think that free, public WiFi is as prevalent as you believe.

Now, you can argue that "there may be free WiFi that isn't public". This would not support your argument well, because the way you describe this innovation, it would help our education. If that was the true purpose of free WiFi, than it would be public, not private. Because of this, I do not believe that many nations, states, or territories support this idea; perhaps, because it is quite costly. Let's look at the costs and effects on economics.

First, it would not be "free". Perhaps using the WiFi would be free, but installing it would not be.

Free, public WiFi could be installed in two ways: the government providing it through tax revenue, or passing legislation requiring citizens and businesses to install it. Let's consider the costs of the first option.

Take America as an example. Let's say the government provided free WiFi routers for every household in America. Now, just how many households are in America?

"The number of households in the United States is projected to increase during the next 15 years, reaching 103 million by the turn of the century and almost 115 million by 2010 [3]".

That's quite a few. Now, let's look at the average cost of a WiFi router. According to Amazon [4] some go from around $25 to above $100. Let's estimate and say the government provided routers, the source of WiFi, that cost about $50 each.

$50 X 100,000,000 (take or give some) = $ 5,000,000,000 (five billion dollars)

A lot, right?

You claim that free WiFi would assist us in education. The US spends roughly 638 billion dollars a year on education [5], which seems a lot more than the cost of installing WiFi in every household. However, when our core education system is failing (meaning schools, etc.) I believe the last thing we need to do is cut from our education system to install WiFi. Also, in an unbalanced budget economy, it would cause additional deficits which could only be satisfied one way: additional taxes. And in a country where most can hardly afford college, how do you expect families to pay additional taxes and sacrifice true education?

Now, onto the other option for this problem: a government mandate requiring households to contain a WiFi router. The math is much simpler on this problem; each household, if they obey the law, will spend an average of $50 dollars. Now, many folks would not make much use out of the Internet. Instead of forcing households to purchase WiFi routers, this money could be used to invest money in college, books, an educational camp, or some other form of learning outlet.

I just believe that for many families, money could be invested more purposefully in education rather than the purchase of a WiFi router.

That leads me to this question: does the Internet provide real education, or is its existence simply based on its convenience? If we were to purchase a load of routers for the purpose of education, there would have to be proof that it is truly providing knowledge to its users.

Maybe the biggest advantage of the Internet is that, for a whole host of tasks, it is very convenient. We can do lots of things that would normally take hours on end and involve many phone calls or trips out to places quickly and efficiently in the comfort of our own home.”

Pulled from a website [6].

The act of looking up an answer to a question is not true education – it is convenience. You said that the act of giving-out free Wi-Fi could “satisfy our curiosity”. Isn’t the purpose of “Free WiFi” – to provide free information – similar to a program we already have: libraries? And most libraries provide semi-free Internet access: if you pay taxes, you are permitted to utilize their Internet.

“Free WiFi” everywhere may satisfy our curiosity for the moment, but it is not true education; also, it nullifies the purpose of public libraries.

“Free WiFi” isn’t free; it costs money. It costs money for families who wish to provide other means of education; it costs money in taxes for families who can’t afford college for their children. Its goal is already met by libraries, and the educational value in Free WiFi is little. I do not support this program.







Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jvava 2 years ago
I apologize of the weird spacing.
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