Municipal WiFi – A Free Public Utility

February 11, 2019February 14, 2019

Municipal WiFi networks (“MuniNets”) are city-wide 802.11x (b,e,g,n) (wi-fi) mesh networks that may run a mean metropolis $10-15 million. Wi-fi transmitters are positioned all through the town in public right-of-ways like atop road poles, site visitors lights, and pedestrian site visitors areas. The mesh community creates a “material” of connectivity that permits anyone with a wi-fi gadget to see the community, connect to it, and, subsequently, use the Web without spending a dime admin password log in.

The state of Muni-WiFi at present appear to be this: 159 current and operational networks; 54 networks underneath building; and 78 Mini-WiFi’s underneath RFP (request for proposal). Muni-WiFi is an enormous deal – some massive names are entering into the image like Google, Microsoft, Earthlink, Cisco, and Motorola; instance – Portland, Oregon is getting their MuniNet up by the top of 2007 by a partnership with Microsoft and an organization known as MetroFi; Google’s in San Francisco in partnership with Earthlink.

Okay, so all people needs a chunk of the motion but when the connectivity is free, you may surprise, “er-what motion”? Effectively, in Portland, MetroFi will push banner advertisements on the high of the browser without spending a dime connectivity, and if you need connectivity with no advertisements, that’d be a cool $20/month paid to the native municipality, please.

Consider it: a free, public area scorching spot the scale of downtown.

In the event you’re into discovering distinctive methods to fund metropolis authorities, that is wanting fairly compelling: immediately you are an ISP and able to straight competing with native teleco’s, LEC’s, and ISP’s. You have acquired economic system of scale in your aspect – a literal metropolis of interconnected customers – and a bunch of advertisers salivating over a gradual stream of narrow-targeted advertisements to WiFi homeowners.

Then again, in the event you’re not about open providers and are into non-public enterprise, the explosion of “MuniNets” should look fairly scary. Suppose how LEC’s and ISP’s are going to search out it even more durable to compete in opposition to a public utility. Additional, consider all the investments made by 1000’s of people and companies to setup their very own hotspots all through city – key to their technique to draw and retain prospects, now individuals can wifi wherever they need and so they do not must be sipping your espresso.

And in the event you’re a know-how service supplier, you have to be in a downright panic. No extra wifi routers to configure inside the house or workplace; no extra issues with privateness and safety; no extra threatening scare ways about who could also be sniffing your wi-fi packets. Why? Connectivity on a “MuniNet” is professionally managed and accessible from the road… identical to water. Crap – there goes subsequent yr’s marketing strategy.

There’s quite a lot of danger right here, although. MuniNet’s are being carried out with present requirements of wifi that do not maintain a candle to the following technology of know-how – 802.16 WiFiMax: 75mbps throughput in a 30-mile radius working at 2.5-2.7ghz. Suppliers of this know-how may be capable of leapfrog the MuniNet and faucet proper into suburban areas which might be past the municipal attain, rendering the MuniNet out of date.

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