Interesting read. Very Smart Mobby.
From Wharton Should cities be in the business of broadband? .
The city of Philadelphia's grand experiment to blanket its 135 square miles with wireless high-speed Internet access is being closely watched by municipalities across the U.S. that are pursuing similar initiatives.
Should Internet access be viewed as city infrastructure, like telephone poles or city streets?
So one reason cities may want to make wireless broadband available is that it improves the attractiveness of the downtown in a way that no individual business can."
While that question won't be answered anytime soon, Hunter says the cost of Wi-Fi is cheap enough that it is unlikely to become a big boondoggle. It will only cost $10 million to cover Philadelphia with Wi-Fi access. "This is not a big bet and the payoff could be significant," says Hunter. "It seems to be a worthwhile social investment."