Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

May 19, 2008

Boston’s Winning WiFi

by @ 2:35 pm. Filed under Technology

I’ve written about municipal WiFi on this blog many times in the past. I truly believe in affordable Internet access for all. One post I wrote on this topic was a disappointment for sure…it dealt with EarthLink’s decision to terminate its agreement with the city of Philadelphia to install Wifi . When this information was released, many thought it spelled the end of municipal WiFi and affordable Internet. But the City of Boston proved once again why it is a world leader. As other WiFi efforts fail, Boston’s thrives. A Globe OpEd piece written by Brian Worobey explains why Boston is succeeding while others are not. According to Worobey Philadelphia tried a mass production approach using a “one size fits all” model. This corporate driven effort quickly led to financial problems. Boston is proceeding differently. Small sections of the city are being fired-up one at a time. And each with its unique coverage problems is a learning experience. Of course, this is a slower method than the one proposed in Philly and San Francisco, but Boston’s is working while the others have problems. Worobey explains it this way…”Rather than throw millions of dollars at a citywide solution that might well fail, openairboston.net has employed discrete investments in small scale rollouts that test technology against neighborhood needs to produce flexible systems that teach us how to do wireless right”. For instance Grove Hall and Dudley Square went online this spring. This was a 1.1 sq mile area project…the second section of the city slated for WiFi is Fenway and Mission Hill. Interest enough, “the technology employed in this second pilot will differ from that used in Grove Hall and Dudley” (Worobey). The solution (test, learn and be flexible) is so simple, yet ingenious…Great job Boston.

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