Municipal wireless network
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Municipal wireless network (Municipal Wi-Fi, Muni Wi-Fi or Muni-Fi) is a city-wide wireless network. This is usually done by providing municipal broadband via Wi-Fi to large parts or all of a municipal area by deploying a wireless mesh network. The typical deployment design uses hundreds of wireless access points deployed outdoors, often on poles. The operator of the network acts as a wireless internet service provider.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Finance
- 3 Potential externalities
- 4 Cities with municipal Wi-Fi service
- 4.1 Africa
- 4.2 Asia
- 4.3 Europe
- 4.3.1 Austria
- 4.3.2 Belgium
- 4.3.3 Bulgaria
- 4.3.4 Estonia
- 4.3.5 Croatia
- 4.3.6 Finland
- 4.3.7 France
- 4.3.8 Germany
- 4.3.9 Greece
- 4.3.10 Ireland
- 4.3.11 Italy
- 4.3.12 Lithuanaia
- 4.3.13 Luxembourg
- 4.3.14 Moldova
- 4.3.15 Netherlands
- 4.3.16 Norway
- 4.3.17 Poland
- 4.3.18 Romania
- 4.3.19 Russia
- 4.3.20 Serbia
- 4.3.21 Spain
- 4.3.22 Sweden
- 4.3.23 Switzerland
- 4.3.24 Ukraine
- 4.3.25 United Kingdom
- 4.4 North America
- 4.5 Oceania
- 4.6 South America
- 4.7 Planned
- 4.8 Canceled or closed
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Municipal wireless networks go far beyond the existing piggybacking opportunities available near public libraries and some coffee shops. The basic premise of carpeting an area with wireless service in urban centers is that it is more economical to the community to provide the service as a utility rather than to have individual households and businesses pay private firms for such a service. Such networks are capable of enhancing city management and public safety, especially when used directly by city employees in the field. They can also be a social service to those who cannot afford private high-speed services. When the network service is free and a small number of clients consume a majority of the available capacity, operating and regulating the network might prove difficult.
In 2003, Verge Wireless formed an agreement with Tropos Networks to build a municipal wireless networks in the downtown area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Carlo MacDonald, the founder of Verge Wireless, suggested that it could provide cities a way to improve economic development and developers to build mobile applications that can make use of faster bandwidth. Verge Wireless built networks for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other areas. Some applications include wireless security cameras, police mug shot software, and location-based advertising.
In 2007, some companies with existing cell sites offered high-speed wireless services where the laptop owner purchased a PC card or adapter based on EV-DO cellular data receivers or WiMAX rather than 802.11b/g. A few high-end laptops at that time featured built-in support for these newer protocols. WiMAX is designed to implement a metropolitan area network (MAN) while 802.11 is designed to implement a wireless local area network (LAN).
Within the United States, providing a municipal wireless network is not recognized as a priority. Some have argued that the benefits of public approach may exceed the costs, similar to cable television.
The construction of such networks is a significant part of their lifetime costs. Usually, a private firm works with local government to construct a network and operate it. Financing is usually shared by both the private firm and the municipal government. Once operational, the service may be free to users via public finance or advertising, or may be a paid service. Among deployed networks, usage as measured by number of distinct users has been shown to be moderate to light. Private firms serving multiple cities sometimes maintain an account for each user, and allow the user a limited amount of mobile service in the cities covered. As of 2007 some Muni WiFi deployments are delayed as the private and public partners negotiate the business model and financing.
In such networks, radio communication is used both for the Wi-Fi service and for the "backhaul" or pathway to the Internet. This means that the nodes only need a wire for power (hence the habit of installing them on power and light utility poles). This "all radio" approach means that nodes must be within range of each other and form a contiguous pathway back to special aggregation nodes that have more traditional access to the Internet. Nodes then relay traffic, somewhat like a bucket brigade, from the laptop to the aggregation node. This limits the way in which the network can be grown incrementally: coverage starts near the aggregation point and, as the mesh grows, new coverage can only grow out from the edge of the mesh. If a new, isolated area is to be covered, then a new aggregation point must be constructed. Private firms often take a phased approach, starting with one or a few sectors of a city to demonstrate competence before making the larger investment of attempting full coverage of a city.
Google WiFi is entirely funded by Google. Despite a failed attempt to provide citywide WiFi through a partnership with internet service provider Earthlink in 2007, the company claims that they are working to provide a wireless network for the city of San Francisco, California, although there is no specified completion date. Some other projects that are still in the planning stages have pared back their planned coverage from 100% of a municipal area to only densely commercially zoned areas. One of the most ambitious planned projects is to provide wireless service throughout Silicon Valley, but the winner of the bid seems ready to request that the 40 cities involved help cover more of the cost, which has raised concerns that the project will ultimately be too slow to market to be a success. Advances in technology in 2005–2007 may allow wireless community network projects to offer a viable alternative. Such projects have an advantage in that, as they do not have to negotiate with government entities, they have no contractual obligations for coverage. A promising example is Meraki's demonstration in San Francisco, which already claims 20,000 distinct users as of October 2007.
In 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo also provided free wireless to select regions in the United States. Yahoo's free WiFi was made available for one year to the Times Square area in New York City beginning November 10, 2009. Microsoft made free WiFi available to select airports and hotels across the United States, in exchange for one search on the Bing search engine by the user.
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Unintended externalities are possible as a result of local governments providing Internet service to their constituents. A private service provider could choose to offer limited or no service to a region if that region's largest city opted to provide free Internet service, thus eliminating the potential customer base. The private sector receives no money from taxpayers, so there isn't competition. The lack of competition prevents other municipalities in that region from benefiting from the services of the private provider.  The smaller public municipalities would at the same time not benefit from the free service provided by the larger city because it is designed to be subsidized by taxpayers and not concerned about the maximization of profits. The broadband provided by the government isn't largely supported to create an income on top of the private sector not being competed with enough to make a profit. Thus, making both municipal wireless networks anticompetitive.
Overuse could be another issue. If usage of the publicly provided network became heavier than existing private options network overload issues could arise, forcing the municipality to invest more heavily, thus spending more revenue, on infrastructure to maintain the existing level of service. This issue could be compounded if private providers begin exiting a market as mentioned above.
Cities with municipal Wi-Fi service
In many cases several points or areas are covered, without blanket area coverage.
- Luxor, Egypt - pilot, paid service in tourist areas
- Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt - pilot, paid service, tourist areas, EgyNet
- Johannesburg - City of Johannesburg is currently[when?] rolling out free Wi-Fi to many suburbs as well as the city center.
- Hong Kong - most are subscribed, paid services, but free service in selected governmental facilities is also available
- Ahmedabad - Reliance Jio started free 4G services in select areas
- Bangalore - free coverage of M.G. Road and Brigade Road.
- Delhi - free Wi-Fi service in Delhi's Khan Market (August 2014), free WiFi service in Delhi's Connaught Place (November 2014), free Wi-Fi service at New Delhi Railway Station (December 2014)
- Greater Noida — paid, operated by Maksat Technologies (P) Ltd.
- Kolkata, India - free 4G service bvy Reliance Jio
- Faridabad, India - paid Wi-Fi Internet services being deployed by CSC E-governance Services in all Village Gram Panchayats
- Puducherry, India - paid Wi-Fi Internet services being deployed by CSC E-governance Services in all Village Gram Panchayats
- Jharkhand, India - paid Wi-Fi Internet services being deployed by CSC E-governance Services in all Village Gram Panchayats
- Malang - Indoken Wireless offers roaming connectivity, T-Fi Beta offers connectivity on public transportation, free access at resource centers.
- Kuala Lumpur - free, Wireless@KL covering major commercial areas.
- Penang, - Penang Free Wi-Fi started in 2009, covers some commercial spots in the state, mostly on Penang Island.
- Sarawak - paid deConnexion available in most business districts in major towns in the state of Sarawak.
- Balanga City, Bataan - free in downtown and several tourist attractions
- Bogo City, Cebu - free WiFi service in most government facilities provided by the city government and ICT Office.
- Calbayog City, Samar - downtown area
- Taipei - Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi and paid service Wifly by Q-Ware Communications, Inc.
- New Taipei - free service in specific public areas in the city
- Vienna - free service around the city through the city lights, at major train stations, and in the Vienna International Airport
- Brussels - UrbiZone covers some institutions for higher education, administration buildings, and public hospitals.
- Samobor - paid & free service by NGO SMBWireless.
- Velika Gorica - free in the city center and nearby villages as a part of e-Gorica.
- Helsinki - free, city-operated network in the city center
- Oulu - free panOULU service.
- Munich - several areas downtown
- Stuttgart - service along the main shopping street Königstraße and a few other locations.
- Heraklion - free, city-operated network, covers major city squares and roads.
- Lagkadas - free, city-operated, covers most of the city and is expanding to cover towns in Lagkadas municipality.
- Bologna - free service in and around the historical city center.
- Comiso - free service in and around the historical city center.
- Milan - free service in and around the historical city center and the Milano Malpensa airport.
- Venice, free to residents and city users.
- Trento, free service in and around the historical city centre. 
- Chişinău - two metropolitan Wi-Fi networks exist: StarNet and Orange. StarNet's paid and free coverage area includes the city's central streets and residential districts as well as parks. Orange paid coverage area includes the city's mass transit areas and bus stops.
- Rzeszów - free, city-operated in participating public schools.
- Wrocław - free service by Miejski Internet, in few places.
- Brașov, Romania - free wifi over the entire city deployed into existing 5G network by worldwifizone.com of Ireland, over 40,000 daily users at peak.
- Roman, Romania - free, deployed by Minisoft Romania as part of MetroWireless free internet access project, paid by advertisements, covers much of the city, expanding to nearby villages
- Vatra Dornei, Romania, 85% of city covered with free wifi deployed by worldwifizone.com using free guest user and Facebook connect.
- Moscow, Russia - paid service, Golden Telecom
- Zrenjanin, Serbia - free, city center only
- Pančevo, Serbia - free, city center only, with time limit session.
- Helsingborg, Sweden - unrestricted, free and city-operated in 220 locations around the town. SSID: Helsingborg Helpdesk: #freewifihbg on most social platforms.
- Lidköping, Sweden - unrestricted, free and commercially operated. Available in town square. SSID: Lidkoping
- Örebro, Sweden - free, around Järntorget.
- Blackpool, UK - free, 1.6 km area around city centre Wireless Blackpool - Wireless Blackpool Leaflet
- Bristol, UK - free, 3 km area around city centre
- Liverpool, UK - paid service, covering central areas.
- Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland, UK
- Norwich, England - free, city center and university, 18-month pilot Openlink (Norwich,UK)
- York, England - free, entire city centre, museums, libraries and universities
- Calgary, Alberta - paid service operated by WestNet Wireless, first City Wi-Fi in Canada
- Fredericton, New Brunswick - free, Fred-e Zone
- Iqaluit, Nunavut - Community Free Access and Paid Service provided by Meshnet, and service of mnemonics.ca
- London, Ontario - free (pilot project) on Dundas Street, provided by London Downtown Business Association
- Mississauga, Ontario - free, Wireless access at Mississauga Libraries, Community Centres, Arenas and select transit stops
- Moncton, New Brunswick - free, Service provided by Red Ball Internet of Moncton. Wireless access available at Arenas and Moncton's Public Library. It was also the first city in Canada to provide wireless internet on its public transportation fleet.
- Montreal, Quebec - free, community supported Ilesansfil
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan - free, city center and campus
- Prince Albert, Saskatchewan - free, city center and campus
- Quebec City, Quebec - free, community supported ZAP Quebec
- Regina, Saskatchewan - free, city center and campus
- Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec - free service in selected parks, municipal buildings and commercial center, provided by ZAP Monteregie
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - free, city center and campus
- Sherbrooke, Québec - free, limited to downtown, provided by ZAP Sherbrooke
- Shawinigan, Quebec - free service, limited to downtown. City-operated.
- Stratford, Ontario - paid service, covers entire city.
- Toronto, Ontario - free service provided by Wireless Toronto and the Toronto Public Library system for locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area; paid service from Toronto Hydro's One Zone.
- Windsor, Ontario- free service for the downtown core provided by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association.
- Akron, Ohio SSID: "ConnectAkron"
- Albany, New York Albanyfreenet
- Amherst, Massachusetts - free service in downtown area
- Anderson, Indiana Anderson WiFi
- Arcata, California
- Bethany Beach, Delaware Beach and Boardwalk free WiFi
- Binghamton, New York - free service,
- Bristol, Virginia
- Burlington, Vermont - City wide WiFi hotspots through Burlington Telecom
- Burlington, North Carolina - Free public WiFi in select downtown areas.
- Cambridge, Massachusetts - free (pilot), through the Cambridge Public Internet (CPI) Initiative
- Charleston, South Carolina - free public wi-fi in Marion Square  by the 
- Cedar Rapids - has Free Wifi Downtown & around the city 
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Clearwater Beach, Florida - free service,
- Cleveland, Ohio—free service in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood
- Corpus Christi, Texas - paid service, Earthlink
- Decatur, Georgia - Free Wifi in Downtown Decatur
- Dubuque, Iowa - free, city-operated, provided Mediacom covers downtown area since 2006.
- Iowa City, Iowa - did have it but not for years not have free wifi
- Elk Grove, California
- El Paso, Texas - Free Wifi in Downtown El Paso.
- Englewood, New Jersey - Free ultra fast Wifi throughout almost two miles of downtown Englewood 2014.
- Escondido, California - free service in downtown area and Public Library.
- Fenton, Michigan - free or paid service in downtown area and public parks, through Tri-County Wireless, Inc.
- Gerlach, Nevada - Gifted to the public by Black Rock City LLC.
- Greensboro, North Carolina - Free Wifi in Downtown Greensboro, Greensboro Historical Museum, The Depot, and others.
- Harrisburg, North Carolina - free, Time Warner Cable
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi Free wifi in the downtown area of Front, Main and Pine Streets and the Oaks Cultural District.
- Hollywood, Florida - Johnson Controls, Sling Broadband Wimax deploy municipal Wi-Fi network for wireless automated meter reading (AMR), public safety and free Wi-Fi service for residents. Muni Wireless
- Houston, Texas - free service in downtown area and selected neighborhoods around the city; free service also available in all Houston Public Library and Harris County Public Library branches
- Honolulu, Hawaii - free, Tri-Net Solutions LLC
- Hiawatha Iowa - Has Free WiFi at Public parks & Public Library
- Indianapolis, Indiana -free AT&T WiFi downtown
- Kennesaw, Georgia - free, City of Kennesaw WiFi - available in city parks and other areas 
- Kenosha, Wisconsin - Low Cost Paid WiFi located in Downtown Kenosha, service provided by Infinite Technologies LLC 
- Kenosha, Wisconsin - Expensive Lake coverage pre-approved by Kenosha County Board withoug pre-approval by the City of Kenosha was declinded by the City 2/13/2014. The ISP service the County was attempting would undermine the existing small business owner, whom has found it a challenge for the city to accept any attempts to grow the wifi.
- Kissimmee, Florida - free, Bright House Networks
- Lafayette, Louisiana
- Lawrence, Kansas - free, Lawrence Freenet, not-for-profit company that works in conjunction with the City of Lawrence and local internet providers 
- Leverett, Massachusetts
- Lexington, Kentucky - SSID: "LexingtonPublic" free, originally only for police, firefighters and civil service employees, available along major streets miles outside downtown, available in downtown, East End and Cardinal Hill neighborhoods
- Linden, Michigan - free or paid service in downtown area and public parks, through Tri-County Wireless, Inc.
- Los Lunas, New Mexico - http://www.loslunasnm.gov/196/Wi-Fi-Service
- Longmont, Colorado - Municipal gigabit fiber citywide.
- Madison, Wisconsin - paid, only covers central part of city.
- Marion, Illinois - Free. Initially just the downtown square but plans to expand to Public Safety.
- Maywood, California - Free. Initially just the business corridors, now city-wide.
- Miami Beach, Florida - Free, covers most of the city outdoors.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota - paid, USI Wireless
- Mountain View, California - free (no longer operating) - Google WiFi
- Naperville, Illinois - free, downtown area only, known as "napernet"
- New York City - LinkNYC began service in 2016; intended to have thousands of stations
- Newton, North Carolina - free, downtown area 
- Ocala, Florida - Free, Downtown Square
- Pacifica, California - paid service, PacificaNet
- Peachtree City, Georgia - free at two parks and the public library/City Hall plaza -
- Philomath, Oregon - free 300kbit/s access, paid tiers. Serves city limits: also has APs in downtown Corvallis.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - free downtown 2 hours per day
- Plattsmouth, Nebraska - free in all public buildings (Court House, Public Library, City Hall, Community Center) and Main Street
- Ponca City, Oklahoma - covers the whole city
- Powell, Ohio - Free, covers downtown
- Rochester, Minnesota - Downtown in Peace Plaza, near the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota Rochester\
- Rockport, Maine
- San Jose, California - Free in downtown area
- Santa Clara, California - Free, outdoors in most areas of the city
- Santa Monica, California - Free, outdoors in most areas of the city
- Skokie, Illinois, - Downtown and park areas
- Southaven, Mississippi - paid service, city-operated, branded as Magnoliawave
- South Bend, Indiana - Free service intended to establish downtown as a meeting place and bridge the digital divide 
- Spokane, Washington - two free hours/day, paid after.
- Statesville, North Carolina- free access
- Storrs, Connecticut - used for students of The University of Connecticut
- Springfield, Ohio - free, downtown and Clark State Community College campus
- The Dalles, Oregon - free, via Google grant to downtown and key event areas. City-operated.
- Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - Day pass, monthly service, or even pre-paid wireless data cards are available
- Williamsburg, Virginia - free, limited to Merchants Square
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina - free, limited to downtown. City-operated: no technical support.
- Warwick, Massachusetts - paid service, municipally-operated
- Yazoo City, Mississippi - Paid network. Branded as Yazoo Wireless, Provided by CYTEC
- Yorktown, Indiana - Free, limited to downtown
- Guadalajara, Jalisco - Free, 150 parks and municipal areas. 1 hour continuous connect and 2 hour connection time allowed per day. In operation since 2011. Installation and operation is municipal government funded. A few of the areas are provided with free electrical outlets to charge / use your device.
- Mérida, Yucatán - Free. Most major city parks and other areas. Provided by Axtel and Telmex. Usually also provide standing tables with power outlets. The parks are identified by "parque en linea" (online park) signs and branding of the utility providing the connectivity. The SSID is usually "park en linea".
- Adelaide, Australia - AdelaideFree WiFi is a contiguous network available throughout the CBD, provided by Internode
- Auckland, New Zealand - Citywide network based in all popular areas across Auckland including CBD and Waterfront  from Tomizone.
- Perth, Australia - paid, RoamAD-based metro wide coverage in the CBD by metromesh
- Taupo, New Zealand, paid/free large RoamAD-based zone in tourist area by Kordia Metro WiFi
- Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, prepaid access and free 1 hr daily, available at many locations region wide by NOW
- Wellington, New Zealand - Free Wifi at the Waterfront, CBD & Airport
- Aparecida, Brazil Free service
- Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- La Plata, Argentina - free, city center only
- Buenos Aires, Argentina - free, without registration, 120 spots for all over the city
- General Lavalle, Argentina - Free service
- Sud Mennucci, Brazil—free, limited to downtown. City-operated.
- Miraflores, Lima Peru Free service, various spots over the district. City-operated.
- Stellenbosch, South Africa Free service. Town centre online since February 25, 2012. Coverage to be increased to whole town.
- Northpine, South Africa Paid. WISP and media delivery services as well as video surveillance focused on the suburb. Community social portal for information sharing, collaboration and local business partnerships. Proof of concept to be expanded to neighbouring areas.
- Delhi, India - Delhi Government constituted a Task Force (March 2015) to provide Free Wi-Fi connectivity in Delhi. The new Task Force is a part of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), an advisory body of the Aam Aadmi Party government, Aam Aadmi Party government decide to consult with various stakeholders to implement its pre-poll promise of providing Free Wi-Fi connectivity across the city, Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks people for suggestions for Free WiFi plan (March 2015)
- Tel Aviv Downtown and later north part as well.
- Makati, Philippines
- Mumbai, India
- NOIDA, India
- Karachi, Pakistan
- Mexico City, Mexico free, coupled with new surveillance system (planned 2008)
- Tecumseh, Ontario
- New York City - A private-public initiative called LinkNYC will replace pay phones with free wireless hotspots delivering up to gigabit speeds to every borough in the city.
- Cleveland, Ohio - Wireless will cover Ward 13 of the Old Brooklyn Neighborhood
- Oakland County, Michigan - free 128 kbit/s, paid for high speed, Wireless Oakland
- Sacramento, California
- Silicon Valley, California Joint Venture Wireless Project - free, prototyped for Palo Alto and San Carlos by 2008, Silicon Valley Metro Connect.
- St. Louis Park, Minnesota - Set up, but not yet deployed due to contracting disputes.
- Tampa, Florida - Tampabayconnect.net
- Waukesha, Wisconsin
- Brisbane, Australia
- Canberra, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Ballarat, Australia
- Bendigo, Australia
Canceled or closed
- Baton Rouge, United States
- Chicago, United States
- Charleston, South Carolina, United States (on hold)
- Dublin, Ireland
- Groningen, Netherlands - Municipal Wireless network with open service model, covering entire city, first parts operational, 2010–2012 expanding to 54sq km
- MetroFi - free with advertisements, deployed to 10 cities in the western United States, closed in 2008
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin - paid service, Midwest Fiber Networks, target date: March 2008
- New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
- Parramatta, Australia
- Portland, Oregon, United States
- Puerto Montt, Chile
- Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Canada - plans to create paid service to cover the entire Waterloo Region, specifically Kitchener, Ontario, Waterloo, Ontario, Cambridge, Ontario (The "Tri-City Area"), to be provided by Atria Networks, was scrapped in 2011 as Atria has been acquired by Rogers Communications, no explanation was given.
- Riverside, California
- San Francisco, California, United States
- Sydney, Australia
- Tempe, Arizona - paid service, Kite Networks
- Dubrovnik, Croatia - closed when the new mayor took over
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