Last updated: January 13, 2010 - 2:33pm
The idea of free Internet for all Americans looks good on screen, but the concept also raises crucial questions. And for the past few years, as cities across the country jumped on the broadband wagon, many government IT leaders kept getting stuck on the first and most important one: How?
Not all municipal Wi-Fi networks fell flat. Some cities have succeeded in delivering broadband service to the public. For instance, first responders in New York can access files through the $500 million high-speed New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN), built and operated for the next five years by Northrop Grumman Corp. Other areas such as Bristol, Va. and Corpus Christi, Texas, have also developed thriving models of a public network. These success stories prove that municipal Wi-Fi can indeed work, but that doesn't mean there's only one way to solve the problem of the digital divide. In the past few months, two major cities -- Philadelphia (PA) and Minneapolis (MN) -- have illustrated two very different ways in which a city can make that big connection.
- Why Wi-Fi Networks Are Floundering
- Facing economic realities of muni Wi-Fi
- Glimpse of Wi-Fi Networks to Come?
- Chicago disconnecting from Wi-Fi vision
- City Wi-Fi Sounds Great, If It Can Really Connect
- EarthLink vs. City of Philadelphia
- New York advised to study broadband alternatives to municipal Wi-Fi
- Experts debate municipal Wi-Fi efforts
- San Francisco, EarthLink have tentative Wi-Fi deal
- Philadelphia Wi-Fi Net at Crossroads
- New Orleans' Wi-Fi network now a lifeline
- Municipal Wi-Fi thrives on a small scale
- Oklahoma City Wi-Fi Showcases City-Services Model
- Muni Wi-Fi hits wall of economic and political realities
- Cities' Wi-Fi Push Hits Snags