Looking east for a municipal Wi-Fi compromise

Meta Group thinks that the City of New York has found the best compromise in the ongoing debate over municipal Wi-Fi. The research firm says that the city is thinking about leasing public infrastructure (i.

Meta Group thinks that the City of New York has found the best compromise in the ongoing debate over municipal Wi-Fi. The research firm says that the city is thinking about leasing public infrastructure (i.e. street lamps) to service providers to build out competitive Wi-Fi, and later, WiMax services. "In this way, the city will gain revenues, eschew operations costs, and foster competition that is most likely to deliver the best combination of choice and price," said a recent report.

This is a good idea. There is a lot of pressure to keep government from meddling with city-wide hotspots, so this model may provide enough incentive for ILECs to start addressing the unmet need. In Japan, where cooperation between business and government is the norm, it is common to see commercial antennas on civic and even private buildings. So it is no surprise that Tokyo looks poised to become one of the first cities to see WiMAX penetration.