San Jose to Launch Free Downtown Wi-Fi Access
March 14, 2012 10:41 PM
comment(s) - last by
The city plans to pay for the venture itself entirely
The city of San Jose, California is making a second attempt at providing its downtown area with free Wi-Fi in an effort to get those who work in the area to leave their offices.
Years ago, San Jose tried to cover outdoor areas with
Wi-Fi for the public to use
. The plan was to have browser-based advertising, small businesses and home broadband subscription use pay for the service, but this idea turned out to be difficult and depended on too many unknown factors.
But the city is now looking to use a new plan to provide the public and businesses with free Wi-Fi. San Jose will use an IEEE 802.11n network from Ruckus Wireless, which is made for outdoor use and has the ability to make its way around obstacles. To buy and set it up, it will cost about $94,000. To keep it maintained, it will be another $22,000 annually.
Instead of the old method of paying for the Wi-Fi, San Jose plans to either use the Wi-Fi as an extension of established networks by local companies, or strike a deal with mobile operators to "offload traffic from their cellular networks." San Jose will be able to pay for the network itself entirely.
The addition of the Wi-Fi network aims to provide better connections for city employees as well as wireless parking meters and parking garages. The network would keep everything downtown connected, allowing those who work there to know what's going on with local
events and businesses
. The city of 50,000 hopes this will encourage workers to step out of their places of employment and visit others in the area, making the city a bit livelier.
It is currently unknown how the Wi-Fi will be paid for or how fast the system will be, but it's expected to allow users to share about 1Gbps or more. The part of the network that will be open to the public will be unsecure so it can be accessed easily. For employees throughout the city, the network will be secure.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Not free
3/18/2012 12:24:22 PM
A couple of points:
"Nothing is free" is only true if you believe that the economy is a zero sum game. There's lot of "technology" where the cost of providing it is small enough for the provider that through advertising or whatever that provider not only provides the consumer with something truly "free" *but also makes money themselves*. Think, e.g., Google and the myriad of Google apps out there. Heck, LibreOffice is even more "free" and a spectacularly powerful bit of technology.
The article suggests to me that the city is going to try to get this thing to pay for itself.
I agree you do have to look at the expected ROI if you're going to engage in deficit spending. 4 years would actually be a spectacularly fast payback -- even at 10 years, they'd be getting a better return than if they were to invest money in a bank.
Also keep in mind that while it's great when the government does something with a clear-cut ROI, unlike a public business, there's nothing that says that's a requirement in the first place: Government's primary purpose is to just represent the people and do our bidding; things like the public education system and public transportation and public libraries have difficult-to-quantify ROIs, yet most people still very much support those programs just because it does seem like the "right thing" to do in a society.
Secondly... you're certainly correct that almost everyone likely to access WiFi probably has a smartphone that can do so over the cellular networks. However, remember that other than Sprint all the major carriers today have rationed their data usage, so most smartphone users today actively seek out and use WiFi when it's available. Additionally, WiFi is typically (though not always) faster than the available 2G/3G/4G cellular connections. Finally, if you have a laptop, many people would prefer a simple WiFi connection over tethering to their phone, which -- depending on the carrier -- is somewhere between a small hassle, to something simple but that you pay for, to something that's outright prohibited and requires significant effort to do.
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Taco Bell to Provide Free Wi-Fi in All of Its Stores by 2015
July 6, 2011, 12:14 PM
FCC Orders Advertisers to Cut Out That Racket, Turn Down Commercials
August 29, 2014, 12:49 PM
Dropbox Bows to Competitive Pressure, Provides 1TB of Storage for $10/Month
August 27, 2014, 11:17 AM
Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million
August 25, 2014, 4:37 PM
Facebook Adds Satire Tags to Its Auto-Generated "Related News" Posts
August 18, 2014, 10:43 AM
Comcast, TWC Pull Dinner Gift for FCC Commissioner... Sort Of
August 15, 2014, 1:10 PM
Comcast Accused of Wooing FCC Commissioner w/ $110K Dinner
August 13, 2014, 8:20 PM
Most Popular Articles
Numerous Leaks Detail 4.7" iPhone 6 Processor, RAM, Cellular and NFC Capabilities
August 29, 2014, 10:37 PM
Windows 9: "Upgrade Now" Button Coming for Enterprise Updates, ARM Preview in H1 2015
August 26, 2014, 8:00 PM
L.A. Unified School District’s Apple iPad Contract Canceled Following Heavy Criticism
August 26, 2014, 12:37 PM
Apple Builds Not-So-Secret Secret 3-Story Tower for iPhone 6/iWatch Unveil
August 28, 2014, 3:41 PM
Netflix Accuses Comcast of Ripping Off Customers, Files to Block Merger
August 26, 2014, 5:49 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information