Saturday, January 18, 2020

Municipal Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is becoming a more and more popular way for people to access the internet in public. This is especially the case in larger cities where one can connect to the internet through a Wi-Fi service offered by commercial establishments and in public areas. But lately, another entity has also begun providing wireless internet access to people which is the local government.

This broadband service brought by an area’s local government is popularly known as municipal Wi-Fi. The local government may shoulder the service fully or partially, depending on the set-up that they choose.

For services fully-operated by the city government or the municipality, they use taxpayers’ money to build the infrastructure to build a citywide wireless network. Or they could also provide this service for a minimal fee to the consumers.

Meanwhile, governments can also outsource this and avail of the services of a private company. The company will be responsible for building the infrastructure as well as its maintenance.

The good thing about local governments providing wireless internet access is that it enables everyone with the right tools (e.g. a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA) to get to the internet for free. Aside from that, the government itself can use this service in connecting the computers of their offices wirelessly.

However, this can also spell bad news to other broadband providers because giving out internet access for free is something that they cannot afford. Also, this kind of set-up discourages the same providers from partnering with local governments because of its lack of a clear source of income.