Boston will tap a nonprofit corporation
to blanket the city with “open access”; wireless Internet connections,
under a plan to be unveiled today by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
The plan, which envisions raising $16 million to $20 million from local businesses
and foundations, is a striking departure from the business models used by other
cities, including Philadelphia and San Francisco, which have turned over responsibility
for their wireless data networks to outside companies such as Earthlink Inc.
and Google Inc.
By empowering an independent organization to own and operate the city’s WiFi,
or wireless fidelity, network, Boston is hoping to keep control of the technology
deployment and use it to spur innovation, improve city services, and extend wireless
Internet access into low-income neighborhoods across the so-called digital divide.
WiFi allows laptops, handheld computers, cellphones, music players, and other
devices to connect to the Internet at high speeds via radio waves.
“They want to create a wholesale network and open it up for entrepreneurs to
build all kinds of applications on top of it,” said Jim Daniell , a Boston
venture capitalist who tracks wireless development around the country. “If this
model works, it will probably become the dominant pattern other municipalities
adopt. It could be a blueprint.”
from the Boston Globe
We’ll believe it when we log on. These stories have
been popping up like lawsuits all over the country, but from what we
have seen, all vaporware so far…..