Municipal Wi-Fi generally refers to the perception of turning an entire city or region into a wireless access zone with a goal of making wireless internet access a universal service (Delta and Matsuura 17). Municipal Wi-Fi is in most instances deployed in large parts of the municipal area or the whole of it by employing a wireless mesh network, which uses hundreds of outdoor routers on utility poles. Recently, there have been struggles for municipal Wi-Fi on whether it should be pursued or not, since the efforts to provide it free has proved futile. This leads to the question whether the municipal Wi-Fi should be pursued. If so, should it be left to the private sector, the government or both? This paper seeks to answer these questions.
In some instances, private firms have worked closely with local governments to construct, operate and finance these network services. In other rare instances, governments have provided these internet services alone or outsourced them to private firms. But for all the three forms, that is governmental, private and collaborative, internet access is allowed to the public either free or at a subsidized fee.
Wi-Fi services are economical to the community, since they provide internet services as utility to the whole community rather than concentrating on a few individuals. They are also much cheaper than having individual businesses and households paying private firms to acquire internet network services, which are in this case availed to the community at no cost or at very low charges. Apart from its economic advantage, Wi-Fi technology is also capable of enhancing a municipality’s management and public safety , especially when used directly. In addition, Wi-Fi is viewed as a social ...
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...xperienced when using it. Apart from having the capacity of withstanding harsh climatic conditions like the Hurricane Katrina, Municipal Wi-Fi also provides free accessible internet to the constituents. The high cost of operation can be minimized if the government and private firms collaborate to provide Wi-Fi services.
Aurigi, Alessandro, and Fiorella Cindio. Augmented Urban Spaces: Articulating the Physical and Electronic City. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008. Print.
Delta, George, and Jeffrey Matsuura. Law of the Internet: Volume 1. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers, 2011. Print.
Giannattasio, George. A Guide to the Wireless Engineering Body of Knowledge (WEBOK). Hoboken, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print.
Nichols, Russel. “How to Make Municipal Wi-Fi Work.” Govtech.com. Govtech.com., 12 Jan. 2010. Web. 22 Sept 2011.
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