Minneapolis picks local firm to build citywide WiFi network
Minneapolis has spurned national heavyweight Earthlink and given the nod to a small local firm, U.S. Internet, to build out its planned municipal WiFi network. While urban WiFi has been much-discussed for more than a year - notably San Francisco's partnership with Google -- the clear move forward in Minneapolis signals that business model and technology challenges are being being worked out, and city-managed Internet access may yet become as common in American cities as municipal water and electrical services. It's also a reminder that some business, like all politics, is local. According to the Star Tribune report, "U.S. Internet would build and operate the roughly $20 million Minneapolis Wi-Fi network and would offer consumers high-speed Internet service for $20 a month," a monthly fee that would be capped for ten years.

TechNewsWorld has a round up of the municipal WiFi movement, noting that "Anaheim, Calif.; Cleveland, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Tex.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Minneapolis, Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia; and Temecula, Calif. are working on citywide networks that residents will access at various rates." Despite much talk of bridging the "digital divide," a driving factor in the move to municpal WiFi, notes dailywireless.org, is the need for cities to upgrade their aging emergency communications networks: "the city also wants to replace its expensive cellular radio communications used by police cars with a cheaper and faster wireless data network."
Posted by Oliver Ryan 9:51 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.