Muni-WiFi Delays... And How They Will Be Mis-Interpreted
from the uh-oh dept
For years now, we've been trying to remind people that WiFi probably isn't the best technology for this sort of thing -- but it hasn't done much good. However, because of this it shouldn't come as any surprise to hear about towns that were so excited about their muni-WiFi projects talking about "indefinite delays" because, frankly, nothing works the way they expected it to: "We still are not getting the coverage we expected and we are not getting the network performance we expected, it's all over (the city). There is no pattern." That's the word from Lompoc, California, which once got glowing coverage of its muni-WiFi plans, but where that WiFi may never get very far. Also, it's likely that things would only get worse if the network were fully loaded, with lots of people using it. The unfortunate part of this story, however, is that anti-muni-broadband forces, usually bankrolled by incumbent telcos, will quickly latch onto this story to suggest that all muni-broadband fails. Of course, as Glenn Fleishman pointed out just days ago, when it looked like Lompoc was on its way to launching the WiFi offering, the real goal of the city is to offer muni-fiber. The WiFi was just supposed to be a stopgap that apparently isn't doing very much at all. None of this, of course, means that muni-WiFi simply doesn't work at all -- but that it's unlikely to be the best technology solution in many, many cases.