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Wireless Networking Government

San Jose Plan Reintroduces Large-Scale Municipal Wi-Fi Coverage 61

alphadogg writes "San Jose is casting a vote of confidence in municipal Wi-Fi from the heart of Silicon Valley, planning a new, free network just a few years after such networks were declared all but dead. The California city of about 1 million intends to offer high-speed Wi-Fi throughout its downtown, covering an area of 1.5 square miles in the middle of this year. But unlike earlier municipal Wi-Fi initiatives, such as a Google-sponsored network that would have covered San Francisco, the San Jose system will be able to pay for itself entirely by helping the government do its job. In the middle of the past decade, ambitious projects in several cities, including parts of San Jose, promised to blanket outdoor areas with Wi-Fi and provide built-in sources of revenue. Home broadband subscriptions, browser-based advertising or small-business use would help to pay for equipment and operations. But those complicated business models depended on assumptions that often proved unfounded."
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San Jose Plan Reintroduces Large-Scale Municipal Wi-Fi Coverage

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  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:05AM (#39338915)

    Just bought my first Wifi modem last week to connect to my hotel's internet. It only streams at 30-40 kilobyte/second (slower than DSL at home) and keeps dropping the connection with a message that says "acquiring network ID". Windows XP reports the signal is "very good" to "excellent".

    At this point I'm wondering if I wasted my my money. The Wifi is only good for uTorrent downloads (it doesn't mind the intermittent connection), and my dialup connection is actually more reliable for web browsing, facebook, etc.

    Oh and yes I've tried moving the modem around which improved the signal, but not the frequent lost connections. Surely this isn't normal for Wifi?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:21AM (#39339125)

    If this plan works, all it does is transfer the workers' spending money from the cafeterias/vending companies inside the offices to the street restaurants. It doesn't create any new wealth or boost to the economy.

    By that logic, nothing creates new wealth, it only shifts from one use to another... which is exactly what the GP is claiming: the office workers will start spending money on local businesses, parking, etc. instead of paying to commute and for disgusting cafeteria food. I would imgine the biggest savings (i.e. "wealth creation") would be in not having to rent as much office space for the same workforce.

  • by RobCull ( 1658279 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:32AM (#39339281)

    Here in Philadelphia, free wifi is available almost everywhere in the city. The SSID is something like "Free Wireless Philadelphia" and it has at least fair signal quality almost everywhere I've been (aside from inside some buildings, etc).

    However, you can NEVER connect to it. The connection ALWAYS fails. I have never met a single person who was able to connect to it.

    After doing some testing, I realized that the problem is their receivers. The transmitters are rather powerful and can be picked up by a laptop/tablet almost anywhere. However, good luck getting your laptop/tablet to transmit strong enough for their systems to even hear you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:29PM (#39339905)

    Just bought my first Wifi modem last week to connect to my hotel's internet.

    When I hear "wifi modem", I think of something like this [], which no way in hell you'd need that to connect to the hotel's internet connection. Did you actually mean you picked up a router to plug into the wired port in your room so that your various devices can connect to it? Or... just how old is your laptop that it doesn't have a wifi transmitter/receiver built in?

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