Items tagged "Municipal Wi-Fi"

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New York park goers to get free Internet Wi-Fi

May 16, 2006 Municipal Wi-Fi , News , News & Analysis

AFP reports:

NEW YORK (AFP) – New York's Central Park and a number of other public spaces will become public Internet hubs starting this summer when the city's parks begin offering free wireless net access, the city government said.

"We expect Central Park to be launched in July, and the rest of the parks in the late summer," the Department of Parks and Recreation said. Among those green spaces going on-line for public Wi-Fi access will be Washington Square, Union Square, Brooklyn's Prospect Park and Flushing Meadows.

Here's the link

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In the Know Podcast # 16

April 27, 2006 Blog Posts , Broadband , Municipal Wi-Fi , Network Neutrality , Policy Blog

PK's In the Know newsletter comes out today, and hopefully so will the podcast! Here are some of the details:

PK in the Know: April 27, 2006

Contents:

You can also:

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Muni-WiFi in New Orleans

November 30, 2005 Blog Posts , Municipal Wi-Fi , Policy Blog

In case you haven't heard, the Big Easy is putting up a free municipal WiFi network. If you haven't read it yet, check out the great breakdown on an Engadget comment post from the Chris Drake, with the New Orleans' Mayor's office. Man, the places you'll find sources of information these days!

With donations of equipment and engineering manpower from Intel, Tropos (who actually helped out with DC's OpenPark), Pronto, and Motorola, combined with Federal funds from FEMA, the network is being setup to not only spur commerce, but also provide for city services like EMS, police and fire departments, as well.

We think Muni-WiFi can be a great development for local communities and hopefully will provide the citizens of New Orleans with some low cost universal telecommunications infrastructure. Find out about how you can promote the same in your community here.

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On the Way to Work with the Municipal Gang

September 21, 2005 Blog Posts , Municipal Wi-Fi , Policy Blog

On the way to work, I listen to podcasts on my trusty 3G 20GB iPod. One of the more interesting ones I’ve subscribed to is the Gilmore Gang.

I’ve had to catch up on some of my Gillmore Gang listening, and unfortunately I missed the September 2, 2005 podcast titled “Municipal Gang.” This weeks gang consisted of Chris Nolan of Politics from Left to Right and eWeek.com and the usuals folks: Dan Farber, Dana Gardner, Doc Searls, and Mike Vizard.

The topic discussed was, as you probably have guessed by now, municipal wifi. If you don’t know by now, it’s a topic that Public Knowledge is very interested in—see our “Spread Wifi” page.

The discussion was pre-telecommunications draft, but the gang came to the issue from a fresh start. They really seem to understand the problems with the “free market,” calling it a market made up of two incumbent monopolies. They also understand how broadband over Wifi can level the market—by providing consumers and businesses another way to generate new content, communicate, and do business.

They asked a number of good questions, perhaps most importantly, how do we make things happen politically. They were more concerned about Presidential platforms (which is still a ways out), but I bet if this podcast discussion was had after the telecom draft, it would have focussed on how to sway legislators to do the “right thing.”

So how do we get this ball moving in the “right direction?” I think as a reader of this blog, your best bet is to start at the local level. We need to be telling people about the benefits of Wifi. Spread that information to your friends, blog it, maybe even write an op-ed in your local newspaper. Get your Mayor or city council interested in it— by explaining muni-wifi’s benefits and low costs.

Maybe municipally funded Wifi isn’t the answer for your town, but having the debate is important.

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New Telecom Act Draft: Part 1

September 20, 2005 Blog Posts , Municipal Wi-Fi , Network Neutrality , Policy Blog

In case you haven’t read the news lately, The House Energy and Commerce Committee has put out its first draft of the upcoming telecommunications re-write. Here is a preliminary run-down on this generally pro-consumer bill:

  • Ensuring an Open Internet: The draft bill ensures that consumers can reach the web sites of their choice, run applications, and attach the devices they want to use. It also includes an exception permitting network operators to manage their networks and provide their own video applications. It’s unclear whether this exception could swallow the rule at the moment, so it could stand some tightening up.

  • Municipal Broadband: The draft bill preempts state law as far as muni-broadband goes. State law, under this new scheme, can’t block municipalities from providing broadband networks, as long as those cities refrain from favoring themselves over other users of the rights-of-way. This is handled similarly to the McCain-Lautenberg bill and certainly goes hand-in-hand with Public Knowledge’s promotion of Muni-Wifi.

  • Consumer Protections: The draft bill directs the FCC to setup national consumer protection standards for VOIP, Broadband Internet Transmission, and Broadband Video Service providers. These protections are to cover late fees, early termination fees, purchase and/or lease of subscriber equipment, privacy notifications, spam, indecency, disability access, etc.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the bill, but it looks promising. Especially since the draft bill tends to support PK’s “Principles for an Open Broadband Future.”

Have any questions or comments about the bill? Please post them below.

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