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
    Grumpy Old Man, 24 Apr 2006 @ 10:35am

    Get the whole story

    Get the whole story before whining about wasted tax dollars. The city of St. Cloud did not install this system just for free WiFi for its citizens, which is just a side benefit. It was a tax CUTTING measure. It was determined that the city could forgo hiring 10 new building inspectors (by allowing the existing inspectors to file reports from the inspection location), as well eliminating many of the city owned cell phones. It is also worth noting that the program started on a smaller scale to attract business to the area, and then was later expanded to the whole city.

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