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Municipal wi-fi networks continue to grow across the United States

Caltrain: WiFi Test works between Millbrae and Palo Alto

Rural WiFi Boost from Ofcom?

Howstuffworks: “How WiFI Works”

Wi-Fi Networking News

Municipal broadband and wireless projects map

As much of the developed world enters the so-called "knowledge economy", cities have become concerned with how their residents will be able to learn and thrive in this new economy. In an order to reduce the negative effects of what economists sometimes call "imperfect knowledge" (and what librarians might call the "digital divide"), a number of municipalities have embarked on ambitious projects to create wi-fi networks that provide inexpensive (or free) access to the Internet. In recent years, projects have been proposed in places such as Madison, Wisconsin, Philadelphia, New York, and Seattle. This week, the entire process acquired a new and interesting wrinkle, as the city of Boston announced they would be recommending that a nonprofit organization would be put in charge of building and running the system. This is a markedly different approach to that of other projects, as they have largely relied on a single private contractor. At a press conference this Monday, Boston mayor Thomas Menino commented "We believe the nonprofit route may be the best way to bring low-cost service to every neighborhood while providing a platform for innovation unlike in any in the nation."

The first link leads to a story from the MIT Technology Review that reports on the recent announcement that Boston would be utilizing the services of a nonprofit organization to create their municipal wi-fi network. The second link will take users to a piece from Tuesday's San Jose Mercury News which notes that the wi-fi network on board the Caltrain line between Millbrae and Palo Alto seems to be functioning quite well. It also appears that that Caltrain is the first rail system to reliably provide broadband access. Moving on to the third link, visitors can learn about the efforts of the Ofcom company as they attempt to begin creating wi-fi networks in underserved regions of the United Kingdom. The fourth link will take users to the always-helpful site. Here users can learn exactly how wi-fi works, and what type of equipment is needed to create an effective system. The fifth link leads to the Wi-Fi Networking News site, which provides some fine reporting on the recent developments within the world of wi-fi networks (including the perils, pitfalls, and successes), courtesy of Glenn Fleishman. The final link this week leads to a map that provides information about government-sponsored wi-fi networks that are under development, or proposed, in various parts of the US.
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Boston Plans Nonprofit-Run Citywide Wi-Fi Network
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