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Municipal Wi-Fi: What You Need to Know

3013 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Mac Slocum
Municipal Wi-Fi: What You Need to Know

Municipal Wi-Fi projects are cropping up all over, but don't cancel your broadband service just yet.

The idea sounds great in theory: Your city partners with a service provider to install Wi-Fi antennas on hundreds of light poles, creating a giant wireless network you can access indoors and out, from any part of town. The provider charges a monthly or hourly fee, but it's lower than what you're paying now for DSL or cable Internet access. Plus, the city subsidizes service for low-income residents, thereby helping bridge the digital divide.

Variations include smaller networks that provide free access more as a gesture of goodwill or to promote tourism, like the ones in Central Park and Disneyland. What's not to love?

Dozens of municipal Wi-Fi projects are currently under way in every corner of the country, including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas and Cambridge, Mass. Projects are underway in London, up and running in Helsinki and planned for parts of Central America. But questions abound: Will it really work as advertised? Will it potentially replace your existing service? Who should pay for it?

For more information on municipal Wi-Fi, check out http://www.electronichouse.com/artic..._need_to_know/
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