While the big incumbents have had a kneejerk reaction to any muni-broadband attempt that says "this is bad, stop it," -- it looks like mobile operators have spent enough time looking at the situation and realizing that it isn't all bad. In fact, CTIA, the lobbying group for mobile operators, has now officially changed its stance on muni-WiFi, and is now in favor of it. Why? Because they finally realized it could be more of an opportunity than a threat. The real issue (and one which muni-WiFi detractors continue to ignore) is that the details of most of these muni-WiFi projects shows that it's not really muni-WiFi. The name is somewhat misleading. Most people think of muni-WiFi as the municipality offering WiFi directly (often for free). Instead, most of the proposals are really just about private companies getting right of way access to locations to install wireless access points on things like utility poles. The muni-part is basically that, in order to get this right of way, the winning bidder has to guarantee full coverage of a municipality and reasonable prices.
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