Should WiFi Be Public Infrastructure?
I never liked living in Philly too much. I went to business school there in the mid-80s.
I spent most of my time in NYC hanging out with the Gotham Gal and getting into the venture business as a part-time associate at a firm called Euclid Partners.
But now Philly is doing something that I really like. They are going to turn the whole inner city into a WiFi Hotspot. Presumably it would be free. That's smart, really smart.
That's because WiFi equipment is cheap and getting cheaper every day. If the amortized cost of the upfront expense is about $2-3 million per year, then the total annual cost is about $4 million per year.
There were 1.5 million people in Philly in the 2000 census. So for about $2.67 per person per year, everyone can have free WiFi in the City of Brotherly Love. I bet that the city can figure out how to make this work without taxing its citizens. The sponsorship opportunities alone should make this a profitable venture.
I hope they do it and it works. Because I'd like all cities to do this. I think WiFi should be public infrastructure like roads, bridges, and tunnels.