US Cities Say: Wi-Fi For All

Hundreds of US cities are working on offering wi-fi internet service as basic city service. “A number of factors have come together to create this marriage of civic activism and a hot technology. First, there’s the decreased cost of key wireless hardware and software components. Jupiter Research estimates that citywide systems will cost $150,000 per square mile for five years of operation. Neff puts it lower, though, saying her costs in Philadelphia were closer to $70,000-100,000 per square mile. Second, broadband penetration in the United States rose above 50 percent in fall 2004, for the first time, which introduced the concept of broadband as a critical service.”