What Glenn Fleishman is to WiFi, my pal Esme is to Muni Wireless networks. She tracks the business of unwired communities and municipalities with the tenacity of a long distance runner. She is currently guest blogging at The Industry Standard Blog. Her piece, What’s wrong with Wi-Fi Access in Europe is a must read, and so is, When 3G meets WiFi. She is letting us know that Corpus Christi, Texas, is deploying a citywide Wi-Fi network for use by the city-owned water and gas utilities, public works and other city services.
By the way it is not the first, and not the last. The first city to unplug in the US is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Haven, Michigan will go down in the history books as the first city in the United States to offer city-wide WiFi. Zamora, Spain was the first city in the world to do this, but, as a result of the efforts of Ottawa Wireless, Grand Haven wins bragging rights for the United States. Ottawa Wireless is also developing many other community-wide WiFi “hot cities” across the Midwest. “While a few other cities have announced their intent to build similar networks, Grand Haven is the first to provide access across the entire city limits, making it America’s first ‘hot city,'” said Ottawa Wireless CEO Tyler van Houwelingen, a former Intel engineer and McKinsey & Company technology consultant.