Municipal Wi-Fi Is As Trendy As Curbside Recycling - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
11/21/2006
10:12 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Municipal Wi-Fi Is As Trendy As Curbside Recycling

There was a time that curbside recycling was the check-the-box status symbol for a progressive city, and cities did a lot of trial-and-error before they found models that actually made environmental sense. City-wide Wi-Fi is the new recycling. The trials are starting. Get ready for the errors.

There was a time that curbside recycling was the check-the-box status symbol for a progressive city, and cities did a lot of trial-and-error before they found models that actually made environmental sense. City-wide Wi-Fi is the new recycling. The trials are starting. Get ready for the errors.Microsoft has joined the crowd of those ready to experiment with muni Wi-Fi, There are more than 300 such projects in the works in the United States. Cities today are in a race to embrace, and there isn't much of a track record for the systems, in terms of business models or technology.

Business Week describes it as a battle for eyeballs: " Content providers who capture the growing municipal Wi-Fi market will be in a better position to enjoy higher traffic to their sites and greater customer loyalty."

To me the efforts by Microsoft and Google sound more like wireless Petri dishes: a place for them to experiment with how wireless ads will be consumed and delivered. The companies and their service provider partners all talk about the prospect of free, ad-supported Wi-Fi. But ad-sponsored infrastructure seems like a losing deal. Remember the dot-com companies that promised Internet access and a PC for the price of looking at a lot of ads? If ads-for-access was such an eye-popping business model, why are we all peeling off a few $20s every month for our broadband connections?

After the business models and novel partnership shake out, don't be surprised if they end up looking fairly conventional, and not a whole lot different than today's: infrastructure companies make their money on fees from subscribers for a fast, reliable Internet connection, and content providers get their money from ads.

The one thing you can bet on is that we're all going to, very soon, have some way to regularly make a wireless data connection. Will it be muni-backed Wi-Fi, cellular, or some other variation? I'd be guessing if I said I knew. And so are backers of the current spate of muni Wi-Fi projects.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll