WiFi Networks Internet Essay

Should New Orleans be deploying a WiFi hook-up citywide, or should this be left to the private sector?


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The instance for deployment of municipal owned WiFi webs is problematic. This essay discusses the positive characteristics of holding a backup WiFi web in the instance of catastrophe ravaged New Orleans. Furthermore it discusses the advantages of holding municipal owned wireless cyberspace web in footings of lower cost of deployment and greater societal benefit. The disadvantages of a municipal owned web are besides discussed in visible radiation of the old illustrations of other municipal owned public-service corporations. It can be said in decision that the best option for metropoliss like New Orleans is it to present a municipal owned radio web and so to bit by bit reassign direction to private endeavors.


– Introduction to the subject

– Advantages of municipal owned WiFi webs

– Disadvantages of municipal owned WiFi webs


Should New Orleans be deploying a WiFi hook-up citywide, or should this be left to the private sector?

In the wake of the black Hurricane Katrina, the substructure of New Orleans was wholly wiped out. This meant that traditional wireline phone service and cellular webs stopped working. The lone communicating web that was still integral was the radio mesh web mounted on electric poles that was used to back up the metropolis ‘s offense surveillance cameras prior to the storm. ( Greene, 2006 ) . Once power was restored to the storm ravaged metropolis, one of the first stairss undertaken by the Chief Intelligence Officer of New Orleans ( CIO ) , Greg Meffert, was to spread out the Tropos-based mesh web, link it to the Internet and unfastened entree to citizens to do IP calls through VoIP, ( Voice over Internet Protocol ) package from companies like Skype and Vonage ( Greene, 2006 ) . And therefore the thought of a WiFi web for the metropolis took form, and on November 29, 2005 ( merely 3 months after the catastrophe ) City Mayor C. Ray Nagin announced the deployment of the state ‘s first free municipally owned wireless cyberspace system in the downtown country. ( Krim, 2005 ) . The public Wi-Fi service, was set up with $ 1.2 million worth of equipment donated by Tropos and Intel ( Hamblen, 2006 ) .

The instance of New Orleans brings to illume the increasing tendency of municipalities across America and the universe to establish their ain free or low cost radio cyberspace service over full metropolis countries. As in the instance with New Orleans, the statements for deploying a municipally owned wireless cyberspace are

  • To cut down the digital divide ; a term which refers to those ( persons and concerns ) who are disadvantaged by the inability to entree high-velocity cyberspace because of their failure to pay for high velocity DSL/broadband or their geographic location ( rural America, where low population denseness ) which makes it impracticable to put down the substructure needed for traditional wireline cyberspace services.
  • Low cost of deployment: A WiFi web makes usage of bing substructure like electricity poles, lamp stations, municipal edifices etc. to convey signals over a sufficiently big country. The proposed cost of the WiFi web for 1.5 thousand people of Philadelphia was projected at $ 10.5 million ; conversely it cost $ 8.5 million to construct the traditional broadband overseas telegram and cyberspace web, in Lebanon ( Ohio ) , which is a little town of merely 17,000 people. Thus the cost per individual would be much lower as compared to a wired web and the clip taken for deployment is besides relatively faster ( New Millennium Research, 2005 ) .
  • Municipally owned radio web will convey forth efficiency and increased productiveness in the working of the metropolis councils and jurisprudence enforcement bureaus. This was seen in the efficient working of the edifice inspectors in New Orleans who were able fleetly process paperwork for Reconstruction licenses without blowing clip in travel from metropolis office to site. WiFi webs can besides in the future aid jurisprudence hatchet mans to carry on background cheques on WiFi web therefore easing the demands on the wireless system ( Hamblen, 2006 ) .

Oppositions of the municipally owned WiFi webs argue that it is non the responsibility or duty of the metropolis to supply radio or for that affair wired cyberspace. It has been observed in the yesteryear that municipal owned wired webs have a high breakeven point and normally run on taxpayers subsidies. The same impression can be used here to deter municipal owned WiFi webs. ( New Millennium Research, 2005 )

  • A authorities owned entity uses taxpayers ‘ money to supply free or low cost cyberspace. In the instance that the establishment runs into fiscal problem because of a superior private rival, the loss will be borne by the taxpayers ( against their will ) or by other profitable authorities public-service corporations.
  • Municipal entities may work on a non-profit concern, and because of their deficiency of expertness may do hapless web operators because of weak engineering and operational determinations and therefore put on the lining revenue enhancement dollars. Furthermore, it is extremely in instance of fiscal problem the establishment may coerce out private rivals from the market by implementing prohibitions, and run the hazard of going an inefficient province monopoly supplier of wireless cyberspace.
  • The statement for wipe outing the digital divide is based on erroneous premise that the handiness of free or low cost cyberspace is the solution for heightening efficiency and productiveness amongst the disadvantaged. It is extremely likely that any productiveness additions originating from handiness of hi-speed cyberspace to municipal bureaus will be in the signifier of cost nest eggs.

Whether or non provinces like New Orleans should be allowed to supply a WiFi web is a problematic issue. It can be argued that in the present age Internet, like roads is portion of substructure and therefore its handiness is the duty of the local disposal and non the private sector. Broadband and telephone companies argue vociferously against leting high velocity cyberspace ( above 128/kbps ) to be made available for all, because it destroys their market and considerable investing.

The Congress sits with two opposing measures, one that may allow local governments ‘ the right to establish wireless webs in competition with telecoms and another, which would censor such activity ( Rethink Research Associates, 2005 ) .

However the one decision that may be drawn with easiness is that radio engineering is robust and efficient plenty to prolong major natural catastrophes and can be re-deployed with lesser clip loss than the traditional overseas telegram system. In aftermath of such catastrophes, metropoliss like New Orleans must be permitted to setup their ain radio systems, which may after some clip be transferred to private endeavors ( like EarthLink in Philadelphia ) for better direction and control.


Greene, T. ( 2006 ) .VON: New Orleans ‘ crime-fighting Wi-Fi web is now the metropolis ‘s line of life.Retrieved February 4, 2008, from NetworkWorld

Web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.networkworld.com/news/2006/031606-new-orleans-wi-fi.html

Greene, T ( 2006 ) .Eye of the hurricane: New Orleans prepares disaster-recovery program following Katrina based on Wi-Fi, Voip. .Retrieved February 4, 2008, from NetworkWorld.

Web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.networkworld.com/research/2006/082106-katrina-recovery-part2.html? page=1

Hamblen, M. ( 2006 ) .New Orleans CIO vows to maintain metropolis Wi-Fi at high velocities. Retrieved February4, 2008, from ComputerWorld

Web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.networkworld.com/news/2006/041406-new-orleans-cio-vows-to.html

Krim, J. ( 2005, November 29 ) . New Orleans ‘s new connexion: city-owned WiFi system to be announced today.Washington Post, pp. D01.

New Millennium Research Council. ( 2005, February ) .Not in the public involvement – the myth of municipal WiFi webs ‘ .Retrieved February 4, 2008, from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.newmill


Rethink Research Associates. ( 2005 ) .Digital communities plan shows municipal webs come of age.Retrieved February 4, 2008, from High Beam Encyclopedia

Web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-138704305.html


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