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Is Municipal Wi-Fi Dead?

Published September 26, 2009 - 2 Comments

I’ve been trying to get caught up on some of my Podcast viewing/listening lately.  One of the more interesting topics was that of municiple Wi-Fi, and whether there was any future for it still.  This particular podcast, Cranky Geeks, is based in the USA, and I suspect that country has far greater municipal Wi-Fi penetration than we do in Canada.  But I also know that the city of Fredericton, just up the road an hour or so, has their Fred-e-zone… so we’re not completely in the dark about municipal Wi-Fi.

I’ve never used the Fredericton Wi-Fi, so I can not say how well it works.  I know that the concept of free wireless internet service is definitely something that is appealing, but the technical realities must be daunting.  I can’t imagine the headaches that city planners have to deal with. 

So what happened to the plan to cover cities with free wireless internet?  I still find searching for a public hotspot to be a challenge.  Maybe in a larger city it might be easier, but this podcast seemed to give the impression that the municipal Wi-Fi idea was a bust.  That it was not being rolled out where it had originally been planned, and where it HAS been implemented, it was a met with disappointing results.

Has anyone ever used one?