• United States
Senior Editor

First citywide Wi-Fi net stinks

Apr 24, 20062 mins
Data Center

These days it seems like you can’t swing a dead router without hitting a story about a city setting up free Wi-Fi for the masses. And while that’s all well and good, what happens when said free service stinks?

The city of St. Cloud, Fla., is finding out the answer to that question right now as its brand-new, citywide free wireless network is less-than-stellar. Now a month after launch, residents are still paying for their own ‘Net access as the freebie sports dead spots and weak signals.

“All technology has its hiccups, and sometimes more than hiccups,” St. Cloud Mayor Donna Hart said. “I think that it’s going to be a major challenge, and it’ll probably be a major challenge for some time until the technology is such that it works properly.”

Gosh, so it’s never gonna work? Analysts say the $2 million network country’s first free citywide Wi-Fi network in the U.S.

We’re glad we don’t man the St. Cloud Help Desk as it’s getting its share of calls from frustrated masses, some who can see the receivers from their homes and can’t sign on – even outside. City Hall, in typical government fashion, recommends those having difficulties shell out $170 for a “signal boosting device” which, of course, is sold at City Hall. And it also somewhat defeats the purpose of free Wi-Fi.

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