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
    wolff000, 24 Apr 2006 @ 12:20pm

    Free WiFi Does Work

    Oh no my free service is shitty! Any large wifi network is going to have dead spots and weak signal problems they are inherent to the technology. As said but apparently people don't understand everything in an enviorment can affect the signal, when that enviorment is a city there is a whole lot to effect it. Oh and Scooter(comment 7) why would you call the city becuase you can't get your e-mail? Last I checked an internet connection has nothing to do with e-mail other than you need a connection to get to your mail. I also saw no plan with muni wi-fi to give email addresses along with the free connection. As far as tech support for connection as stated it would be 0 since you are not paying for the service anyway. As for "wasting" tax money, look at the millions that our government wastes every day on much more frivolous stuff. Free wifi would not be one of those things as it can actually help people and foster growth in stagnant communities. Which is exactly why it was started in a few cities.

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