Monday, October 24, 2005

Another Wi-Fi City Rollout

In an earlier post, we talked about how San Francisco is getting citywide free wireless, courtesy of Google.

After posting, I heard people saying things like, “That is nice, but when is it coming to places like the midwest and where will we see it next?”

On Friday, Madison, Wisconsin, announced they were getting a Wi-Fi rollout, this time led by a firm supplying real-time automated meter reading for the utilities industry. Cellnet Technology has begun deploying a Wi-Fi network in Madison that will serve wireless users in the city's government, consumer, and commercial sectors. The project will be rolled out at no cost to the city and initial funding has been secured by the providers from service agreements from ISPs. Phase one will cover the downtown area with plans for later phases to cover the entire city.

"I made a commitment in 2004 to bring Wi-Fi to Madison," said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz in a statement. "This is an important new service for Madison residents and businesses."

This is the kind of thinking other mayors should adopt. Madison is a college town and I am sure that the students will get good use of the new service. Downloading via Kazaa and BitTorrent should be even easier than via the U of W network!

I am sure the local telcos are having a hard time the thought of their users switching to VoIP. Rio Rancho is working on perfecting a version of mobile VoIP. I do think this will take some time to perfect, but it will come.


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