December 8, 2008

Another Look at Citywide Wi-Fi

According to Andrew Lavalle, writing in The Wall Street Journal: "For proponents of citywide Wi-Fi projects, this has been a tough year -- and one of fresh promise.
The idea of setting up networks to beam wireless Internet access across entire cities and towns has been touted for years as a spur to economic development. It also has been promoted as a way to help bridge the so-called digital divide -- the gap between those who have access to all the advantages of the Internet and other digital technology and those who don't, mainly because of lower income.

Progress on such networks has been halting, however, because of financial, technical and political hurdles. And over the past year or so, there have been a string of reversals. The companies that built and maintained some of the most prominent municipal Wi-Fi networks abandoned them, and other projects stalled or were scaled back.

At the same time, though, a handful of communities have applied lessons learned from the first round of failed projects and are developing Wi-Fi networks that are more realistic in their ambitions and business models.

[ via]


whatifer said...

So, where does this leave Troy? and Oakland County for that matter? The infrastructure is there, as far as we were understanding. Why isn't it available?

Phillip Kwik said...

The last I heard -- about eight weeks ago -- the company partnering with Oakland County on Wireless Oakland was trying to secure additional funding. The initial funding dried up and the project was shelved in mid-2008.

There was an early December deadline on putting together a plan. I have not been able to find any news recently.

If I do, I will post.