Municipal WiFi – Coming to a city near you?
More and more cities across the United States are deploying their own wireless networks to offer public safety personnel and public works employees remote access to their municipal data network. The added benefit is that there is often dual-band equipment installed that enables the town to set aside space for free wireless access to residents. Through the use of small access points mounted on top of light poles, traffic light arms, and other structures, cities have enabled their employees to save time and resources by remotely accessing the municipal network in real-time, instead of the employee having to travel back to his or her office to upload or work with their data. Some municipalities offer completely free wireless internet access to their residents and manage the infrastructure themselves. Others have opted to lease space on their wireless networks to ISPs, who will in turn charge a fee for access to the network.
Whether free or not, it is clear that the freedom of wireless internet access is in great demand, and the number of locations where public wireless internet access is available will continue to grow – maybe even to a city near you.