Municipal WiFi Momentum and MSOs

The fracas in Philadelphia about municipally provided WiFi Internet access isn't stopping other cities from jumping on the broadband bandwagon. According to a report in the Arizona Republic this week, the city of Tempe, Ariz. is considering creating a citywide wireless network that would compete with the wired broadband offerings of Cox Communications and Qwest. For a $30 monthly subscription, Tempe may offer unlimited WiFi access for laptop and PDA users, essentially making the whole town a hotspot. The city is soliciting bids from ISPs to run the service by leasing space on streetlight poles. According to muniwireless.com, if Tempe joined the game, some 30 U.S. communities would be offering public WiFi access. The question I keep wondering about is why aren't MSOs in this business already, selling regional WiFi as a premium feature with their wireline broadband services? If you're interested, check out my rant on a proposal for 'DAWRIN' (DOSIS Architecture for WiFi Networking). Of course, at this point munis and MSOs alike might be better waiting for WiMAX solutions as an alternative.
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