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Thread: Capitol to go wireless

  1. #1

    Default Capitol to go wireless

    Good news for lobbyists, activists, oh - and I guess end-users who have to be there every day.

    http://starbulletin.com/print/2005.p...s/story05.html

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    Fascinating. Nearby for-pay wifi vendors are probably going to be miffed. And I wonder what kind of security will be implemented. Will traffic be monitored? Will there be a blacklist or whitelist as far as what sites can be accessed?

    Conference is typically the busiest time of the session, as lawmakers work late hours often going from hearing room to hearing room throughout the day to come up with the final language for hundreds of bills. Having wireless access would allow them to reduce the number of files they carry around and allow instant access to hearing schedules, proposed amendments and other information available on the Legislature's Web site. Instead of calling or chasing after them, aides would be able to send lawmakers e-mails or text messages to their cell phones to summon them to hearing rooms for decision making.
    A lot of this stuff can be accomplished with cell phones, no Internet required. For the new wifi service to really pay off, I'd hope the Capitol has some kind of internal portal/workspace setup for document exchange and online collaboration. And perhaps an internal or at least standardized IM system.

    On one hand, it'd be great for all of our elected leaders to be available online wherever they are. But I imagine their productivity would also be adversely impacted if suddenly they're clicking through IMs from Lobbyist A while Lobbyist B is sitting across the desk... and meanwhile Committee Chair C is waiting for a fast answer on an e-mailed draft of a bill and Constituents D, E, and F, who don't even have computers, are on hold on the phone.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    Having spent waaay too much time at the Capitol I can tell you that since the capitol is so bleeding far from everything else that there is no wireless currently available in the building. Also, yes there is an internal document sharing system that in has most of the same features of the public access system, but easier to use and with a couple more features.

    Jewlipino

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    yay! Free internet @ the library!! (and if the signal is strong enough) and the bus stops!
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    The original budget request for wireless was taken out of the legislature's operating budget a few weeks ago. That was around $340,000. Funding for this new proposal may be coming out of funds left over from last year. Wireless may be useful for the public, but all legislators and support offices have a built in wired network to which all of the approved desktop computers are connected to.

    As for legislators themselves, being connected wirelessly to laptops or other devices while at committee hearings may be a double edged sword. It would be convenient for the legislators to use while in committee, but also distracting too if they are constantly being distracted by say, instant messaging from constituents and staff during a public hearing.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    Depending on the security of the wireless network, I might also worry about people using sniffers to intercept the signals. People generally only think about convenience but never worry about the downside, which is possible breaches of security.

    Miulang

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Capitol to go wireless

    Quote Originally Posted by mel
    but also distracting too if they are constantly being distracted by say, instant messaging from constituents and staff during a public hearing.
    I wonder if it'll be as bad as kids with IMing.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

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