Several years ago the promise of free wi-fi in some of our countries major cities looked extremely promising. I personally was keeping an eye on the progress of the wi-fi experiment that was taking place in San Francisco which was being sponsored by the likes of Google and others. The hope was that a free wi-fi service would be in place and that the service would be ad supported.
But than something happened. Some where between the free ad supported service a paid for service cropped up. The feeling was that paid services, which would be faster and contain no ads, would discriminate against the poor who would be stuck with slower speeds. Another issue was how much a city would be paid to allow a company to install the free service?
We are all famaliar with the grocery store gimmick in which you buy one dozen eggs and get the second dozen for free. But tell the store you’ll take the free dozen if they kick in $5 bucks along with the freebie. This seems to be what happened with free muni wi-fi. People wanted it for free but also wanted to be paid for the free service.
But what do you think? Is this the reason why free muni wi-fi has failed? Or was there more to this?