Another Muni WiFi Network Gets An Early Thumbs Down

from the good-idea-bad-execution dept

Earlier this month, the city of Corpus Christi, Texas launched its municipal WiFi network, which its vendor said was the largest of its kind, covering more than 100 square miles. However, like some other muni WiFi projects, early reviews don't sound too encouraging -- complaints echoed earlier this month in Portland as well. It's the same sort of thing early users in other cities have reported: weak signal strength, low speeds and difficulty connecting. Many of these problems occur when people try to use the services indoors (as one does), highlighting one of the drawbacks of using WiFi for this type of application: it doesn't penetrate buildings well, particularly when the router's at some distance away. Many of the network vendors say users need to buy repeaters to overcome this, something that takes away some of the "free" aspect of these networks, as well as something that takes away from their attraction to visitors. While we remain bullish on the general idea of municipal broadband, it's still not clear at all that WiFi is the best way to deliver it. Many of the muni WiFi "success stories" raise as many questions as they answer, and the truth of how well these networks are working remains pretty muddy. Again, municipal broadband is an idea with a lot of merit, but it looks like a lot of muni-WiFi rollouts are based on the wrong reasons, and are possibly just using the wrong technology.

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  1. identicon
    Sandy, 15 Mar 2007 @ 12:17pm

    How Do I Sign-Up For Wi-Fi?

    I think the WiFi here in Corpus Christi works GREAT. I'm using it right now indoors and no problems. The only thing is it dies when there is a lthick fog or heavy rain. I have used it for several months now, so maybe I am lucky to live in an area where it works inside the house.

    Here is my question: How do you sign-up with Earthlink for this Service?

    About a week ago they had a story on TV that Earthlink would take over the system on April 1st but there is nothing on the Earthlink site with the exception of a press release that says anything about it.

    There are some issues that I have with the WiFi if Earthlink does it the way the news said they would. I guess they will give you a modem but you can only connect ONE COMPUTER to the modem. I don't understand that. Does this mean I will need a modem to use my laptop in public ares or have a seperate $20.00 account for every computer??? That would not be worth it.

    One writer talked about a back-up dial-up account. That is a good idea if there is bad weather and you need to use your e-mail.

    Anyhow, it works great for me, but maybe I'm just lucky to live in an area where it works.

    If anyone has information on how to sign-up or with more information on the Earthlink plan for Corpus Christi, please post it here. Thanks!!!

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