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City-Wide Wi-Fi Network Expansion Predicted
By: MarkJ - 27 July, 2007 (8:37 AM)

The latest research from analysts at Datamonitor has predicted a strong expansion in the number of city-wide broadband wireless (Wi-Fi) networks. Spending on related UK and USA networks is expected to jump from $900m (439m) this year to $6.4bn in 2012:

In the UK, Milton Keynes and Norfolk have both launched blanket Wi-Fi networks. Norfolk fired up its community network called "Norfolk Open Link" back in August of last year, with the aim of improving access to information and providing opportunities for more flexible and mobile working.

Milton Keynes also launched a Wi-Fi network in its city centre last August. More recently, a free wireless network was switched on along a 22km stretch of the River Thames in London.

According to Datamonitor, municipal Wi-Fi can help local governments deliver on efficiency targets by lowering communications costs, facilitating mobile working and enabling the emergency services to have on-the-spot access to information. But, said the analyst, different regions inevitably have different priorities in mind for a wireless blanket, whether it's expanding internet access to more disadvantaged citizens or attracting new businesses to their area. Therefore, there are a range of business models in play.

More @ ZDNet.

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