itm-441-free-municipal-wi-fi-as-evidenced-by-the-city-of-new-orleans

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The Case for this module involves the struggles for municipal Wi-Fi. There are many benefits to providing free municipal Wi-Fi as evidenced by the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the state of emergency there. Here are two stories describing the situation:

Hayes, F. Big Easy Wi-Fi. (2005, December 5). Retrieved fromhttp://www.computerworld.com/article/2560747/government-it/big-easy-wi-fi.html

Tim Greene. VON: New Orleans’ crime-fighting Wi-Fi network is now the city’s lifeline. NetworkWorld.com, 03/16/06.

But more recently the effort to provide free municipal Wi-Fi has fallen on hard times. Municipalities have largely relied upon the private sector to deploy the networks. The private sector vendor would offer a low-cost or free tier of service but gain the prospect off adding faster broadband revenues and Wi-Fi advertising revenues. Unfortunately, this business model hasn’t materialized as expected. But the effort to provide municipal wi-fi continues. Please read the following background:

Sam Churchill (2009). Top 10 Municipal WiFi Stories of the Decade. DailyWireless.org. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from http://www.dailywireless.org/2009/12/18/top-ten-municipal-wifi-stories-of-the-decade/.

Christopher Mims (2010). Where’s All the Free Wi-Fi We Were Promised? Technology Review. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25819/.

Geoff Duncan (2009). Philadelphia Buys Earthlink’s Failed Municipal Wi-Fi Network. Digital Trends. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/philadelphia-buys-earthlinks-failed-municipal-wi-fi-network/.

Andy Opsahl (2009). Municipal Broadband Efforts Succeed Despite Wi-Fi Meltdown. PublicCIO. Retrieved November 21, 2012 from http://www.govtech.com/pcio/Municipal-Broadband-Efforts-Succeed-Despite-Wi-Fi.html.

Lynnette Luna (2009). A Municipal Wi-Fi Model That Actually Works. Urgent Communications. Retrieved November 21, 2012 fromhttp://urgentcomm.com/networks_and_systems/news/oklahoma-city-wifi-mesh-20091202/.

Case Assignment

When you have reviewed these materials and done your own research (please be sure to use appropriate citations for any material that you collect on their own), please write a 3-5 page paper addressing the question:

Should municipal Wi-Fi continue to be pursued? If so, should this be left to the private sector, government sector, or both?

  

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