The development of a comprehensive, citywide Wi-Fi network is essential to the sustained economic and intellectual growth of a city, its residents and businesses. The Wi-Fi network developed in the Boston, US was provided by the city and financed by advertising placed on sign-on Web pages.
The benefits are expected in two areas:
(1) The citywide Wi-Fi network could open previously untapped markets to many local companies and organizations, allowing them access to new customers and new streams of revenue.
(2) On the other hand, many low-income residents cannot afford commercial Internet access from area providers like Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., whose monthly access fees can run as high as $60 a month. A Wi-Fi network could help bridge the “digital divide” by providing a low-cost alternative.