Will Boston's Citywide Wi-Fi Network Be Realized?

Boston's plan to blanket the city with wireless internet access has met a series of obstacles which seriously threaten the project.

"Boston's ambitious push to provide citywide wireless Internet access is faltering: Fund-raising is millions of dollars short, the volunteer heading the project may step down, and plans for universal coverage are being scaled back and delayed.

The group leading the effort acknowledges that it has raised only "hundreds of thousands" of dollars instead of the nearly $15 million it sought. And unlike its initial pilot project, which blankets the Grove Hall neighborhood, the next phase will target only portions of the Fenway and Mission Hill.

City leaders insisted they aren't backing away from their ultimate goal of Wi-Fi in every corner of Boston. Instead, they said, they're adjusting their expectations and abandoning their original timetable - which promised citywide access by 2008 - to refocus on a series of neighborhood "bubbles" that test technology and business models."

"The challenges in Boston parallel those in dozens of other cities across the United States and abroad that are grappling with technology glitches and higher-than-expected costs in launching public Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, networks. The networks are meant to enable people with laptops, handheld computers, cellphones, music players, and other devices to connect to the Internet cheaply via radio waves."

Full Story: Boston comes up short in Wi-Fi effort

Comments

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 $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00