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I think this template should be renamed Infrastructure. It would then replace the existing Template:Infrastructure, which is essentially a stub. AlexPlante (talk) 14:54, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I hear you AlexPlante. But infrastructure is such a loaded term that we should specify exactly what targeted area we are referring to. Socipoet (talk) 18:40, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand why you say that infrastructure is a loaded term. The definition is rather straight-forward, although the scope tends to differ according to how different disciplines use the term. As a civil engineer I noticed that most projects I work on are either buildings, industrial plants or facilities, or large physical networks (i.e. infrastructure), and whether they are in the public or private sector makes little difference, except that private clients do not have to accept the lowest tender, unlike tendered public sector projects, where the government must either accept the lowest bidder or cancel the entire tender.
Public infrastructure is the sub-set of infrastructure that is owned and operated by a government. The problem is that depending on the jurisdiction networks of a similar type may be either publicly or privately owned and operated. Take electricity generation, for example, in most industrial countries electrical generation and distribution is largely private (ex. US, UK, Germany, Japan), but some countries have mainly public-sector electrical utilities (Canada, France, the Scandinavian countries). I've noticed that countries that generate most of their electricity from coal or natural gas tend to have private systems, whereas if they generate most of their electricity from large hydro-electric projects (Canada and the Scandinavian countries, or the TVA in the US) or primarily from nuclear energy (such as France), tend to have public-sector electrical utilities. The reasons are probably very practical, and have little to do with ideology. Probably if you use a very capital-intensive, very large-scale and long-lasting technology (hydro-electric dams tend to last for centuries), it's probably easier for the government than for the private sector to raise the capital to develop such a system.
So if you call the template "Public infrastructure", you would have to include public electricity networks, but exclude private ones, with makes no sense. Or you would only include infrastructure which is public in almost all countries, which means you would have to exclude electricity generation altogether, as well as telephone networks, railways, etc.. AlexPlante (talk) 01:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The scope of this template is unclear - does public mean state-owned or used by the public ? (Public infrastructure isn't easy to define). The selection of articles that the template links to appears to be US-centric. It's so big that it'd overwhelm some articles. In short, I don't think this template serves any purpose. Unless anyone thinks it's worth fixing these problems, this template should be removed from the few articles (<10% of those linked) that use it and if no-one at those articles objects then WP:TFD it. DexDor (talk) 20:30, 5 February 2012 (UTC)