Combination of Need, Cost and Innovations Are Rekindling the Muni Wireless Dream

[Commentary] Many are surprised by the news that Google is delaying some of its municipal fiber builds -- and speculation is building that the company is quietly upping its wireless game. Those who've watched the municipal broadband space since the muni Wi-Fi days, however, aren't likely to be surprised by this. The reason? In 2004, Philadelphia's dream of building a citywide public Wi-Fi network captivated the country and started a wave of frenzied press releases and mayoral proclamations, and a handful of network buildouts. But alas, all went for naught. Lately, however, a combination of need, cost and innovation is rekindling the dream. It seems our industry forgets that individuals, businesses and organizations don’t care very much if Internet access arrives wirelessly or by wired connection as long as it is fast, reliable, secure and affordable. Hybrid networks have a seat at the broadband table. Deal 'em in.

[Craig Settles assists communities with developing their broadband business and marketing plans, and help communities raise money for broadband projects]


Combination of Need, Cost and Innovations Are Rekindling the Muni Wireless Dream