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Pioneering Wi-Fi City Sees Startup Woes
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 08:04:45 -0400

From: Monty Solomon <monty () roscom com>
Date: April 24, 2006 8:57:00 PM PDT
Subject: Pioneering Wi-Fi City Sees Startup Woes

Pioneering Wi-Fi City Sees Startup Woes
- Apr 24, 2006 07:41 AM (AP Online)

By TRAVIS REED Associated Press Writer

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) -- More than a month after St. Cloud launched
what analysts say is the country's first free citywide Wi-Fi network,
folks in this 28,000-person Orlando suburb are still paying to use
their own Internet service providers as dead spots and weak signals
keep some residents offline and force engineers to retool the free
system.

Joe Lusardi's friends back in New York couldn't believe it when he
told them he'd have free Internet access through this city's new
Wi-Fi network. "Everybody's happy they were going to have it, but I
don't know if they're happy right now," said Lusardi, a 66-year-old
retired New York City transit worker.

The same troubles with the small town's big Internet project could be
lessons for municipalities from Philadelphia to San Francisco
considering similar networks.

St. Cloud officials are spending more than $2 million on a network
they see as a pioneering model for freeing local families, schools
and businesses from monthly Internet bills. It also promises to help
the city reduce cell-phone bills and let paramedics in an ambulance
talk by voice and video to hospital doctors.

Instead, what they have so far is a work in progress.
.....

- <http://www.quote.com/home/news/story.asp?story=57868307>

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