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City-wide Wireless Internet in Minneapolis

Spoonbridge and Cherry, the symbol of Minneapolis

There is always news of hoopla and drama on the Internet about big cities trying to roll out wireless Internet across their entire city. I guess I figured that city-wide wireless Internet was simply not a reality yet because these news articles always discuss companies not willing to roll out the networks because of high costs. When I was in Minneapolis a few days ago, I was entirely shocked to discover the city is wireless!

Now, my hopes were up for free wireless Internet in the Cities, but alas, the service is not free. You have to pay for it like you would pay for any other Internet service. However, there is still the benefit that one is not tethered by wires to his/her Internet access. For example, you can take your computer with you basically anywhere in Minneapolis and have Internet access using your subscription. The signal is not perfect in every corner of the city, but the providing company (USI Wireless (external link)) does provide you with an amplifier for your house to help boost the signal. City-wide wireless will not be much use for me, because, obviously, the University provides Internet access for me, but I still find it a step in the right direction.

I do wonder why I never heard about this in the news? Many other major metropolitan areas were on websites like Digg and Cnet when they were only attempting to roll out WiFi networks. Nonetheless, it is a bright prospect to see that at least one major American city can move into the wireless realm; it is at least a start for all the others.

Comments

  • That's interesting. I too have only heard of the odd citty thinking about rolling it out. None that actually have.

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Wed 16 Jul 2008 at 11:10

  • I think the main reason it was never brought out online is because the Twin Cities are simply not as big as San Francisco or New York, etc.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Wed 16 Jul 2008 at 19:07