Citywide Wi-Fi Plans Abandoned In St. Louis

Joining the ranks of other major American cities like Chicago, San Francisco and Houston, St. Louis has lost its bid to build a citywide wi-fi network. AT&T cites high costs as it pulls out.

"After months of delays, AT&T said Friday that it will scrap its plans to provide free wireless Internet access across the entire city. The network is just too expensive to build."

"Instead, it will a build a pilot project over one square mile of downtown and keep an eye on the fast-changing field of municipal Wi-Fi, a promising technology that's captured the imagination of cities nationwide but fallen flat in almost every one."

"AT&T and St. Louis officials spent 18 months negotiating before reaching a deal in February to connect the city's 62 square miles over the next two years. The company was to provide free wireless Internet service to anyone for 20 hours a month, then charge for more or higher speeds. Aside from giving access to light poles, there was no cost to the city, though it planned to spend about $400,000 a year to buy access to a special public-service network it would use for police and other city services."

"But in the months since the deal was signed, AT&T engineers wrestled with a thorny problem: they couldn't find a cost-effective way to get power to the network of transmitters - likely 50 per square mile - that would carry the signal."

Full Story: AT&T calls off plans for free citywide Wi-Fi


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.