Municipal Wi-Fi networks? Forgeddabout it.

Olga Kharif

To prove their tech savviness, governments of cities such as Philadelphia and New York have decided, over the past year or so, to start providing wireless broadband services. Philadelphia, for one, is looking to seed all of its 135 square miles with Wi-Fi (wireles fidelity) hot spots. The project, to be funded with public funds, will cost a pretty penny: about $60,000 per square mile to deploy, plus millions more a year to run. The big issue in my mind, though, is, Should a city be running a telecommunications network at all?

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