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
    Pessimist, 24 Apr 2006 @ 11:48am

    Customer Service

    When was the last time you called an FM radio station because your radio couldnt pick up the broadcast. Or complained to the bank when a drive up ATM was out of service. There is no customer support for a free service, because there are no real "customers". The real issue should be is the eye in the sky moving in closer to your personal life without you knowing... What better way to keep current with online activity, search terms, internet predator activity than passing it through a central location and recording each transaction of data. The public tends to forget the cons-(Being watched like a child) when the Pro's-(FREE INTERNET) seem so much more appealing. In the not very distant future I see current ISP's providing "Chaperone Free Internet" as the premium pay service. Those who rather have the free Muni-Fi must bow to the watchdogs, who decide if you require closer monitoring......

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