Nation's First City-Wide WiFi Network Completed

Chris Steins's picture
Although Zamora, Spain was the first city in the world to implement a true city-wide WiFI network, it appears that Grand Haven, Michigan has become the first city in the United States to implement a city-wide WiFi broadband network.

From the press release:

"As the first WiFi city in America, Grand Haven has truly lived up to its name in the Internet era, as we now allow anyone anywhere to connect to the Internet and roam the city and waterways in a completely secure computing environment," Mayor Bergman said. "The city-wide WiFi service provided by Ottawa Wireless is already enhancing the quality of life for residents and tourists and enabling the city to provide new services."

Wi-Fi Coverage MapAfter reading the press release I was at first confused, since I've read about many other cities that had wireless networks, but I was set straight by the interesting article: Is Grand Haven, Michigan Really the First Wi-Fi City?, which also compares the wireless coverage in Grand Haven with other city wireless networks, like Spokane, WA; Half Moon Bay, CA; and Rio Rancho, NM.

I just returned from several days of meetings in beautiful Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. How great would it have been to be fire up my laptop and have internet access from wherever I happened to be? But aside from the convenience and the cool factor, I bet most city managers would be more interested to know if there are direct and quantifiable economic development impacts from Wi-Fi'ing your city.

Thanks to Slashdot for the article reference.

Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
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