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monsoon

Charlotte | Citywide Municipal Wi-Fi Network?

Charlotte | Cityside Municipal Wi-Fi Network?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the City of Charlotte build a citywide Wi-Fi network?

    • Yes - It's a good use of Taxes
      12
    • No - City should not spend public money on it
      7
    • What is Wi-Fi?
      0


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Some cities are building municipal Wi-Fi networks to provide low cost broadband service to most of the community. Some say that it helps the economic growth of the city and will reap additional investment in the city that will make up for the taxes it will take to build a system. Others will say it is a waste of funds and should be left to private enterprise. And often cities attempting to build such a network will get sued by the local Bell or other incumbant telephone company where they cite unfair competition.

What do you think Charlotte should do on this issue?

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No. Private companies are already putting billions into making universal broadband wireless access. Verizon is doing well with its Broadband Access brand, and as technologies like WiMax, and other next generation technologies expand, speed and range will only improve.

In the next two years, broadband wireless access will be available all over the city for prices just a little more than broadband at home like Road Runner. Within five years, it will be price competitive to wire based systems.

It would take years, would be expensive, would be obsolete quickly, and would subvert private industry advancements toward the same goal.

Towns like Davidson might do it, though, as the colleges tend to set up WiFi systems as it is cheaper than upgrading the wires in all of its buildings. The rest of Davidson is small enough that it might not be that expensive.

Cities like Charlotte, though, would likely never do it because of the budget crunch and the tendency to try to avoid stepping on the toes of private industries.

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No. Private companies are already putting billions into making universal broadband wireless access.

It would take years, would be expensive, would be obsolete quickly, and would subvert private industry advancements toward the same goal.

I agree. so, no.

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Yes, they should. Right now there is no uniform high speed internet access throughout the city of Charlotte. If left to private companies there will be a hodge podge of access across the city and you would need numerous accounts if you expected to get access wherever you went. You already see that happening. If you go to Starbucks you need TMobile, if you go to other spots you need BellSouth, etc... I live in Plaza Midwood and my high speed DSL only gives me 300K!! That is ridiculous. In other countries they have entire gigs at their disposal for less than what I pay for 300K. The private enterprise is clearly not doing a good job. How great would it be to be able to go anywhere in Charlotte and know that you could get on the internet and have great surfing speeds? Municipalities provide the infrastructure for transportation, why not information?

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Those short range wifi systems like at Starbucks are not what I am talking about. Telecommunications companies are upgrading their mobile phone networks to handle broadband internet. That means anywhere you get a cell phone signal, you will be able to have broadband wireless access. Verizon and Cingular already have that through out the city, and Sprint is building a network like that as part of their merger with Nextel. The problem right now is that they cost money, between $60-80 per month, and aren't fully as fast as cable broadband.

In the next couple years, pricing will come down and speed will increase, to be competitive with Road Runner.

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I think they should build the infustructure and give away WiFi for free in designated public areas, The Square, parks, Center City,Airport,Convention Centers. It gives the city an image of being hi-tech. Alot of business people would be able to enjoy Wifi in areas designated to public use. And with them having to build the infustructure only in designated areas it would limit the use and cost. Freedom Park I belive already has free Wi-fi.

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I agree with dub. Maybe though the county could do something when they negotiate the TimeWarner contract. Given the other issues we need to solve, like the 30% of county children on public assistance, I think WIFI can't be a priority.

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Actually, I believe Time Warner's franchise is with the city. Adelphia, which covers the northern 1/4 of Mecklenburg negotiates with the individual towns up there. TWC has agreed to buy the local assets of Adelphia, but it is my understanding they are planning to operate it as a different system because the channel mix, pricing and features are different. The local news and information channels focus on living at the Lake and rarely is anything mentioned about CLT unless it is crime or CMS related. I don't use them for TV myself, but they do have a pretty good al la carte internet service (6M/512K) at a very resonable price that I do use.

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I'd say no, let private companies do it. Though when Charlotte was in the planning stages for its light rail, there was a proposal to put a Wi-Fi network along the rail corridor.

dubone, Sprint is the leading telecom regarding to WiMax and it already launched its mobile broadband before Cingular, it has began testing WiMax before its merger with Nextel. Before the merger, Nextel was testing another competitive technology called Flash-OFDM. When cellular providers merge, it must divest some assets or agree to FCC specifics, so now Sprint Nextel is the largest owner of the 2.5 Ghz spectrum and it must develop a usage for that 2.5 Ghz spectrum, that 2.5 Ghz will likely go to WiMax and VoIP using WiMax. Right now all cellular companies are in their 3rd Generation (3G) and WiMax and Flash-OFDM are a 4G technology and won't be available until the end of this decarde. Cingular uses a different technology from Verizon and Sprint and was last to launch its 3G Network. Verzion and Sprint are waiting for Qualcomm to release a new update on their EVDO technology called EVDO Rel A which is capable of VoIP. T-Mobile is the only large cellular company that has yet to launch its 3G network. Cingular, Sprint and Verzion's 3G Networks have only the maximum down link of 2.4 Mbs (Sprint & Verzion) and 1.8Mbs (Cingular) with real life speeds of 300 to 700 Kbs. T-Mobile will launch a new plan that will intergate Wi-Fi into its phones, users can switch using its 2.5G network (GSM/EDGE) and VoIP using Wi-Fi. Sprint is often looked as the underdog in the cellular arena, but it is the only one with a clear vision for its 4G networks. Sprint and Verzion has launched its broadband network in Charlotte and Cingular has yet.

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I moved from Charleston and there is free WIFI in Marion Square downtown and a few other designated public areas in the city. Its a great idea but implementation is always a beotch. Chapel Hill has been arguing about it forever just check search wifi on orangepolitics.org. If a town the size of Chapel Hill can't agree on it I can't imagine Charlotte doing much better. Free WIFI still does not address the digital divide. You can have free access covering the city but it won't help the neighborhoods where residents can't afford a computer.

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I voted yes, bring Wi-fi to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. It would bring competetion against Time Warner and the consumer wins getting a fair price comparison for internet.

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Are you guys saying this should be a free municiple wifi service, or cost money? Is the fair price for broadband internet $0?

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