MuniWiFi in Manhattan?

13 Dec ’05

CNet reports that New York is looking seriously at muniwifi. Gist:

New York City lawmakers are taking a long, hard look at using 802.11-based Wi-Fi or some other technology to get the city’s roughly 8 million citizens access to broadband.

New York’s interest in municipal broadband comes just as the citywide Wi-Fi buzz hits a fever pitch. Other cities, such as Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco have already started down the Wi-Fi path, but if New York builds out its own Wi-Fi network, it will be the biggest deployment of municipal Wi-Fi in the country, and perhaps the world.

“It’s likely not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’,” said Craig Mathias, an analyst with Farpoint Group of Ashland, Mass. “Every major city is going to have some kind of citywide Wi-Fi access. It will become an expectation like electricity or telephone service. But New York is definitely a challenge from a technology perspective. You may not be able to get it in every nook and cranny.”

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