7 replies on “C’ville adding downtown WiFi.”

  1. So Charlottesville is going to spend millions redoing the downtown mall and add free wifi but they couldn’t find the money to help out someone who was running a homeless shelter fix code violations? So we have people living next to the Free Bridge entrance to the nature trail but hey, we’ll have free wireless on the mall and new bricks so everything’s just fine? And Albemarle County needs to step up and put in some money towards housing the homeless too, not just C’ville.

  2. Didn’t we bat this around with them in 2002, Waldo?I feel like now that the better part of a decade has passed without them stepping into 1999, and since we’re well down the road of shifting from WLAN (WiFi) to WWAN (3G cellular) technology, they should just save the money for something else.

  3. Good luck with that. It’s amazing how few people can completely muck up something as simple as this. There’s your Think of the Children! guy, the One Dude Still Charging $10 Per Session That Nobody Uses Anyway, and The Hacker (who never actually need show up to have a debilitating effect).


    Alison, how can you talk about fixing code violations when there are children starving in Africa?

  4. I have a question that’s neither rhetorical nor loaded: is the downtown mall not adequately served by business owners providing wifi for their customers?

    A related question is: what benefit is achieved from municipal wifi over the status quo, and do people think it’s worth the cost of providing municipal wifi?

  5. Can’t answer the first, but I’ll offer this for the second. This is a link to a 2006 Newsweek story about 10 major muniwifi projects around the US. Want to guess how many of them still exist?

    I could (and have) go on for days about the various models available, some of which failed on the merits/economics, and others of which were the victims of skilled political lobbying. (The Think of the Children! guy referenced above? Don’t be surprised if he’s got an office in DC.) If you’re really interested, Esme Vos is the one to read.

    If you’re interested in a quick analysis of a public/private partnership for county-wide wifi in Virginia, I wrote this about a proposal for Arlington. It was never executed, as Earthlink soon found itself with much bigger problems to face, and pulled out of negotiations (in fact, the semi-built network they left behind in Philly was just bought for pennies on the dollar).

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