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, 20 Mar 2007 @ 2:22pm

    WiFi

    Kathleen,

    The WiFi works for me but I have no clue as to signing on with Earthlink.

    Try using a N network card, the ones with the larger external antennas. I use Netgear and there is no problem with XP or the new Vista on my laptop. The small G cards are worthless indoors and the antennas are usually behind the computer in the worst place possible for reception.

    I think the hops are possibly from the Pronto company signing people on so I don't know if it goes from here to their company then back out. I did hear that Earthlink would be adding some equipment so maybe that will help you.

    When I watched the TV news they said that a signal amplifier may help you too.

    I'm using it no and no problems. Much faster than dialup. If I could only get information from Earthlink! For the price I would get it if I can use it on all the computers in the house and not just one at a time and if I can use a dialup if it doesn't work.

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