Public broadband evolving, growing

Further sparking the market’s heightened growth is the movement by large counties and regional municipal coalitions to adopt public wireless for a wide range of applications, from public safety and economic development to bridging the digital divide. For instance, the three-county, 40-city Smart Valley consortium in California’s Silicon Valley last month named a three-company team of vendors to build their network.”We are now long past the stage where municipal wireless was something primarily for small communities that had been bypassed by incumbent service providers,” said Vos. “Cities and counties throughout the country — and around the world — have begun to get it: Public wireless networks are an essential part of local quality-of-life and public-policy strategies.”

Read a summary of the The 2006 Municipal Wireless State of the Market Report online from govtech.net. (Lots) More Municpal Network items available from the Benton Foundation and Citywide Wi-Fi spending could hit $3 billion from ZDNet. Please contribute your knowledge of “Municipal Broadband” to the Whats New Media Wiki.

PLUS:  Broadband considered most important communication service from Ars

Broadband is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity, according to a new report by In-Stat. Users from six different “lifestyle” groups in both the US and Canada were surveyed, and all six segments rated broadband “the communication service they can least live without.”

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Filed under Community WiFi, Broadband, Digital Divide, The Politics of New Media, Ubiquity, Virtual Communities, When New Meets Old

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