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
    Dave, 1 May 2007 @ 12:27pm

    Earthlink Feather Network "Free Sample" Five Minut

    Well,

    Earthlink started its "free sample" of wifi in Corpus Christi for a 30 day period via the Feather Network.

    REALLY GREAT! You need to sign in EVERY FIVE MINUTES to keep your service running. THANKS EARTHLINK!!!

    Then there is NO WAY to purchase even a temporary monthly plan on this system.

    https://home.feather.net/support/monthly_html?muniid=13

    The WORST MUNICIPAL WIFI IN THE COUNTRY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE SECOND STUPIDEST CITY IN AMERICA!

    What a joke... I agree Chris!

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