Urban Fold

Cities Keep Broadband In Mind

Many big cities' plans for free citywide Wi-Fi networks fell apart in 2007. But this column from Governing argues that cities should keep broadband Internet access as a priority to remain competitive.

"The end of the local Wi-Fi boom presents an opportunity for government leaders to shift their focus from this specific technology to a broader policy discussion about U.S. broadband competitiveness and access. Wireless technologies of some sort will likely be an important component of any national strategy to shore up and extend the nation's infrastructure for electronic networking."

"Unfortunately, after the headaches and embarrassment that foundering Wi-Fi projects have caused in some places, local leaders elsewhere may be reluctant to risk political capital on questions about the future of broadband in their communities, especially if the W word is involved. And with telecom lobbyists asking hard questions about whether government should play any role in providing broadband access, there's a lot of political capital at stake."

Full Story: Beyond Wi-Fi

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