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
    Catherine L. Wesenberg, 25 Jul 2007 @ 9:57pm

    Earthlink WiFi Anaheim

    We have never known of a situation where a customer had to call the provider to tell them No to a new service!! We have never known of a situation where the company changed a service to a new program with out the customers consent, after the customer had called to say NO!! NO!! I spent 4 hours on the phone with Earthlink on July 12, 2007 saying NO!! NO!! NO WiFi. On July 19th I received an E Mail from Earthlink, welcoming me to their Anaheim WiFi. Again I was on the phone telling them NO! NO! NO! NO!! NO WiFi!!.
    I don't need their WiFi. I don't have a lap top. All my computer work is done at home on a PC. Even if I had wanted WiFi it is very doubtful that it would work at my home. My home is at the boundry of the Anaheim WiFi area. I can see the over pass of the 91 & 57 freeway from my back yard, (the Anaheim boundry for WiFi) The houses in this area are constructed with lath & plaster. Our roof is a "Duralite" roof.
    I am trying to make contact with the appropriate Orange County District Attorney office. We want Orange County District Attorney office to investigate the Anaheim City Council & Earthlink. If any one knows of the right Orange County District Attorney's office to contact regarding the Anaheim WiFi problem, please enlighten the rest of us victims here in Anaheim.
    To day, July 25th I received an envelope welcoming me to Anaheim WiFi. Of course this is one more thing I need to do. I had to mark it "Refused"!! "Return to Sender", & put it out for the mail carrier to take back.

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