The wheels come off muni Wi-Fi

Municipal Wi-Fi. What a great idea, eh? The problem is, someone's got to pay for it, which means it needs to make money.

Municipal Wi-Fi. What a great idea, eh? The problem is, someone's got to pay for it, which means it needs to make money. And if it doesn't... then it goes the way of Chicago's planned muni Wi-Fi network, now scrapped because it wouldn't have drawn enough punters to be worth the expense.

Interesting, that. Cities like London are rolling out muni Wi-Fi predominantly as connectivity for municipal workers, like traffic wardens - if citizens get free access then that's a bonus. But beyond that model, I can see the problem. Even if enough people lug their laptops around with them on a daily basis, connectivity is often supplied through mobile networks or by their local coffeeshop.

Is it too late for muni Wi-Fi? Was it a great idea that just missed its chance?