Cities covered in Wifi – something of the past or the future?

Living in Europe, the idea of having open wifi throughout the city is like a dream. When I hear these stories about San Francisco, I simply hope it won’t take to long to be rolled out here.

Two new stories, though, have made me think this may be a thing of the past rather than the future, particularly if you combine it with the fact that mobile networks become quicker over time (the big reason to prefer wifi at the moment).

ARS Technica writes on its site that in Chicago they seem to have decided against roll-out due to the worsening economics of these networks. There is still some hope, but it is sign in the sky, if you ask me.

Similarly, according to Wired, Earthlink will be letting go of Don Berryman, the Executive Vice President and President of Earthlink’s Municipal Networks. Besides letting go of him, they are firing another 900 people. Wired says this calls into question the ultimate fate of already struggling municipal Wi-Fi projects in San Francisco and other cities.

Maybe the future is simply broadband at home and in the office, Wifi in public places and mobile networks everywhere else. Makes sense?

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