St. Cloud Sees Muni-WiFi Woes

from the wonky-wireless dept

St. Cloud, Florida, has attracted some attention for being the first place in the US to roll out free citywide WiFi service. One month in, the city of 28,000's 15-square-mile network is hitting some road bumps, with users complaining about dead spots and weak signal strength. It's only been a month, so it's still too early to condemn the network, but the tale does serve as a reminder that despite all the hype surrounding citywide WiFi, it remains something of an unproven commodity, both technically and financially. Municipal WiFi is a compelling idea that offers lots of benefits beyond just simple internet access. But the hype surrounding it is deafening, and it's pretty obvious that these networks are going to have some teething pains, and it's going to be a while -- if ever -- before they deliver all their promised benefits.

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  1. identicon
    scooter, 24 Apr 2006 @ 11:31am

    Muni-WIFI is a pipedream

    Speaking as an ISP that has provided internet access for many years, cities that think they will somehow save money providing free internet access have a rude awakening awaiting. How are they going to deal with abusers of all sorts, drive-by spammers, and the endless calls from clueless users calling because all they know is "my email don't work".

    When they figure out how big and difficult a task it actually is.. they'll all throw in the towel as the real cost will unacceptable to the taxpayers.

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