More Tiny Towns Get MuniFied

7 thoughts on “More Tiny Towns Get MuniFied”

  1. In case of Mountain View, Google spent around a million dollars on wirelessly enabling the entire city. I bet for areas of equal size, that would be a good yard stick. It will be less for smaller towns. Of course it depends a lot on the topography and access to the backbone etc.

  2. Speaking of USF funding. I live in a town way too small for muni Wifi, but we have experience with USF. There are 8 full time residents and 20 more on a good weekend.
    We just got phone service a month ago. USF paid for 10 miles of undergrounded cable to serve us. USF will only pay for POTS so we now have dial up. Better than nothing.
    In order to get DSL our carrier had to convince the holders of the USF funds they needed a T-1 to monitor the service to their customers. USF approved providing a T-1 for that purpose only.
    As you can imagine, there is a lot of excess capacity that will become availabl to us.
    It is crazy talk in this day and age for USF to not fund broadband explicitly. We are just grateful our carrier knew how to game the system.

  3. I think $50,000 – $100,000/sqmi (depending on topography and building styles) is still a good capital cost range for mesh WiFi. What it takes to run the network annually is a more interesting question and probably highly dependant on existing IT infrastructure/staff of whoever has that job. I could see it easily being as high as 25% of the cap. cost per year, but it could also be dramatically less if you are offering a free service with very limited user support.

    Meanwhile, in terms of cities, I think an interesting question is which tier 2/3 city will get citywide service first. Clearly tier 1 cities like Philly and San Fran will take years do to politics, but a Pittsburgh or Providence could get done pretty fast. Boston could surprise people on the tier 1 front, given that either Harvard or MIT could just say screw it and pay for the whole thing out of a few minutes of interest on their endowments.

  4. Excuse me but just what is so great about the cities of Rockland and Thomaston, Maine gouging residents out of $19.95 to $50.00 a month for hotspot access? Heck, I can get a better deal from Starbucks/T-Mobile. And Starbucks probably won’t send the police after me if they don’t like what I do with it. Maybe instead of seeing wifi as an opportunity for hick officials to pad the muni budget, it should be viewed as a public service that city governments have a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide FOR FREE. After all, my local coffee shop (and ice cream stand, and supermarket, &c.) don’t seem to have a problem giving it away. In fact they do rather well because they do.

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