Pacific Research Institute is an advocacy organization hasn't been shy in its absolute hatred of muni-WiFi networks (and given who funds it, that's not surprising). However, that hatred of municipal WiFi has long contributed to a bizarre blindness to actual facts. For example, their "director of technology studies" continues to trash municipal WiFi through descriptions that simply aren't accurate, often ignoring that most of the plans we see today are actually privately, not publicly, funded. The latest is that the group has come out with a new report trashing municipal WiFi. Now, we haven't been shy in suggesting that WiFi is not the best technology for muni networks, but that doesn't mean that questionable research should be supported. Glenn Fleishman takes apart PRI's report, noting that it studied a grand total of 3 municipal WiFi networks and uses data that stops in 2004 -- which is quite a long time ago. The report also trots out the anti-muni network favorite, Tacoma, Washington, as a failure -- despite further studies that have shown its municipal network has been something of a success. There's nothing wrong with debating whether or not the technology makes sense or if a muni network makes sense in specific cases, but condemning all attempts based on such a small sample size using such outdated data just seems like pointless sensationalism.
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