Feeds

Orlando axes free muni Wi-Fi

Not enough bloggers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The city of Orlando in Florida has pulled the plug on the city's free Wi-Fi service. Although the city has a population of over 1.8m, only around 27 people a day were using the service, which was costing the district $1,800 a month.

Metropolitan Wi-Fi has become the new cause for the internet lobby ever since the short-lived public Wi-Fi bubble burst a couple of years ago. In early 2003, fuelled by a $300m Intel ad campaign, bloggers urged the nation's coffee shops to install 802.11 LANs to drive up revenues. But by August NewsWeek had picked up on our characterization of this as a 'Bubble'. T-Mobile was losing $10 on every $1 of revenue from its Starbucks roll-out, and the magazine blamed "optimistic analysts making the rounds of technology conferences turned pep rallies," a permanent feature of Silicon Valley life.

The introduction of free Wi-Fi didn't bring in new revenue for most cafe owners, and added a new frustration: they now had to ask the low-spending bloggers who squatted their cafes all day to button up their pyjamas, or leave.

With Public Wi-Fi a commercial non-starter, the formerly once-libertarian tech-lobby has turned to municipal handouts to continue the dream of "getting everyone connected". But it's as misguided as the earlier bubble. Internet access is a means to an end, not an end in itself, and makes as much sense as calling for cities to install ketchup dispensers every few yards.

On the upside, five ISPs have stepped in offering to supply free Wi-Fi to the anguished Orlando Pyjamahadeen. So bubbles don't really burst - they just reinflate endlessly, in ever smaller bubblettes. ®

Related stories

Public Wi-Fi has look and feel of a dead duck
Public Wi-Fi the debate bubbles on
Ronald McDonald to save Wi-Fi
Blame game starts as Wi-Fi Bubble pops
Newspaper discovers moderately happy Wi-Fi user

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.