London free wi-fi and power bills rise after electric deregulation

The BBC reports that London has turned on its free wi-fi network in the city’s business district. London’s hope is that the network will “be invaluable to traders, bankers and brokers who want access to their data when they are on the move–or out at lunch.” Hopefully this effort will pay off and eventually spread to the rest of London.

Politicians and power companies promise lower prices and better service when arguing for a deregulated utilities industry. However, the article “Power Bills Soar After Electric Deregulation” shows deregulation leads to higher utility bills. For example, “An Associated Press analysis of federal data shows consumers in the 17 deregulated areas paid an average of 30 percent more for power in 2006 than their counterparts in regulated states. That’s up from a 24 percent gap in 1990.”