Friday, October 21, 2005

Muni, Muni, Muni

2006 is going to see an explosion in the activity of Municipal, Muni, Networks.

This article from the BBC states that IP access is becoming a basic amenity, in the same way as water and electricity.

Philly is the next to be online; with a 135 square mile network being built out by Earthlink and turned on next year. Not far behind is San Francisco with, you've guessed it, Google as one of the prime bidders. They believe they can take their successful advertising revenue stream to provide free IP access to the proletariat.

On a brief aside the partnership of Google and NASA, can we expect to see Google in Space?

With the benefits of WiFi access to schools, hospitals and police forces around the US it won't take long for a few well publicized examples of how access helped them for the ball to start rolling.

I would agree with Paul that the secret to success is a partnership with the existing carriers. Otherwise the likes of SprintNextel could easily freeze the new comers out.

The recent disruptions in connectivity of old cable and fiber networks caused by Katrina showed the real benefits of WiFi networks, allowing emergency services to be connected.

At the forefront is Austin, Texas. They already have a well established Municipal Network and people are getting plugged into the Austin Wireless ideal. There are even free hotspots here in Bangkok of all places that you can find by accessing through the Austin Wireless website.

Once SF City gets its Muni Net laid down I think that some of the next cities will be Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth and Las Vegas. Simply because of the residents of the first two, high tech industry, and the explosive growth of the last will mean they are ideal candidates for wireless connectivity.

Hell if Oregon state can do it what's to stop the rest of us?

1 comment:

Paul Jardine said...

David, I think what I was trying to say was that Telcos should be embracing the idea of muni-nets in order to sell services on top of them.
I am starting to think that nearly all operators have missed the content boat and they need to look to access as their only business. It's not a bad business to be in, if you don't have a whole lot of old equipment and staff to maintain. Doh! as Homer would say.