What Is The Impact Of A Wireless City?

Mayor John Street's Wireless Philadelphia initiative aims to provided high-speed Internet access across the city. Critics see a 'virtual quagmire'.
January 28, 2005, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Today municipal Wi-Fi networks carry the same cachet as swanky sports stadiums and convention centers. Cities are betting big bucks that low-cost Web access will attract tech-savvy businesses, encourage tourism and project a hip image capable of wooing young professionals.

...Urban planner Scott Page [Editor's note: Scott Page is also contributes to the Planetizen Tech Talk blog] says it's naive to believe Wi-Fi is a practical tool for attracting young professionals. 'I'm not going to move to Philadelphia because it has Wi-Fi. People move because of social and business contacts.'

Page, who developed a technology plan for North Philadelphia, champions the broad Wi-Fi initiative. But he hopes the city will perceive wireless technology 'as an opportunity to reinforce what's unique about our neighborhoods--and not homogenize our city.' "

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 in Philadelphia Weekly
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