26 September 2005

Municipal networks

Municipal networks, as Dr. Shin posted earlier on this blog, are a topic of interest in telecommunications. Now, Om Malik reports that the total market size of municipal networks in the US could be close to $700 million for equipment manufacturers. It may not surprise you, then, that they might be encouraging municipalities to make the investment.

I find it ironic that, after a decade of privatizing communication networks throughout the world, that this tred exists.


SeungJae Shin said...

There is an article in the Informationweek magazine (http://www.informationweek.com): "Debating Municipal Wi-Fi" by Mitch Wagner on Oct 6, 2005.

Martin Weiss said...

I share some of Wagner's skepticism. Bill St. Arnaud, on the CA*Net News mailing list noted the following:

"As expected the removal of open access on DSL and coax is forcing many ISPs and ASPs like Earthlink and Google to look for more creative solutions such as partnering with cities to build WiFi networks to reach their customers."

Between the broadband-less ISPs and equipment manufacturers looking for a market, are municipal networks simply a way to improve competitive posturing? I am beginning to think that the populist language around municipal networks are a smokescreen for basic self-interested capitalist profit motives.

Martin Weiss said...

Here is a summary of the San Fransisco bids for their municipal network.