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TheGerbil

Downtown Wi-Fi in the works

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http://post-gazette.com/pg/06096/679793-96.stm

Plans are advancing for a Wireless internet network in the Golden Triangle. Tentatively it would be free for the first 2 hours. Details are still being worked out.

I am very glad to see this happening and only wish it could have been sooner.

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^^Very very encouraging news, I too read that with excitement, its been stewing for years, given that Pittsburgh had the third ISP in the world, the first wireless campus, first wired campus back in the stoneage lol and a host of other techie firsts, including free wi-fi airport (the first I believe to have it on a grand scale), it's a shame we haven't done wi-fi sooner in a large area though many multiple block areas downtown are giant wi-fi hotspots.

Telerama, and that E. Liberty co. I forget now both had plans to wi-fi this area earlier but couldn't get off the ground.

I do have to mention though that we could soon be seeing the death and obsolete status of Wi-Fi . . . there is a higher technology (begins with an X or something) of that standard coming out, there is also the advent of the Verizon and Sprint high speed data networks that can cover a range of 10 miles with a single cell tower, you can for a fee a bit higher then cable TV get Verizon Wi-Fi highspeed coverage over most of the Pittsburgh 7 county metro right now, Sprint also covers most of it with highspeed wi-fi, so in those respects Downtown Pittsburgh has been covered for years now and reception at least with Verizon is very fair.

Forget cards and laptops for a moment though, if you strictly are looking just for the net and not crunching #s or creating content a Blackberry or Palm Trio allows you to connect through those handfull of 10 mile radius range cell towers to high speed internet (though on the cell phone it is more like weak DSL b/c of the units not the towers).

I understand the need for downtown to have cheap (or limited free) access to wi-fi, but technically if you could pay the fee (50-80/month) downtown Pittsburgh--as well as almost all of urban and suburban America) has had HIGHSPEED wi-fi for years now through cell phone towers and Verizon, Sprint and soon to be Cingular services.

:)

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I didn't get to read the article yesterday (although I'm very familiar with the plan they were working on this summer). Did it say the network could be up by the All Star Game? That'd be pretty cool!

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Just came out today (as I am sure all of us have heard) its a done deal downtown Pittsburgh should have Wi-Fi all over downtown and the stadiums in time for the ASG if not sooner (a matter of weeks if everything goes right).

2 hours free and also allowing other providers future access, here's the link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06123/686937-53.stm

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From the PG article:

To that end, Councilman William Peduto added a $20 per pole per month fee that is to be waived if half of the service is in neighborhoods considered to be blighted or low-income by the federal government. Much of Downtown is considered blighted, said Michael Edwards, chief executive officer of the partnership, so the fee will be waived.

Who determines what is blighted and what isn't? How can Downtown be considered blighted?

I can probably see SOME parts of Fifth and Forbes as blighted, but so say "much of Downtown" is just wrong. I remember a few years back that Allegheny County designated a greenfield "blighted" so that developers could receive a TIF to build the Pittsburgh Mills mall.

I think the system is being taken advantage of.

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Maybe so, but if the ultimate goal of that provision is to make sure poorer neighborhoods get WiFi, then I can deal with them tweeking the rules for Downtown. I would hate to see all the Shadysides and Squirrel Hills get access while places like East Liberty got left out.

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My wish is for city council to stay involved in this, although I'd love to see Mt. Washington, southshore, southside and the University District get this pronto (goes to convincing those CMU and Pitt students to stick around some more), it's important that Pittsburgh as a whole gets benefit out of this as much as the tech companies are meeting their bottom line.

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"blighted" is a federal distinction that allows alot of city/county/state/federal monies to be spent in that district. Local officals pushed very hard a few years ago to get the blighted designation placed on dowtown (based on the census tract back then) to make sure that blight removal funds and CDBG could be used downtown.

Also, in PA and many other states, for eminent domain to work, one of the possible reasons is that the land is blighted. There are actualy parts of Mt. Lebanon that have been designated as blighted so that TIF funds etc could be used for their redevelopment.

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