Digital City Expo

Went over to Reston to attend the Digital City Expo. Vint Cerf was the keynote speaker :)


I am surprised to see so many city government officials, mostly for their fact finding trip to deploy their own muni-wireless. The driver for deploying the muni-wireless however is very different compared to metro-wireless or those deployed in Asia. Metro is mostly serving the mobile professionals (who already have internet access at home) while they are in the city while those in Asia are for alternative access and somewhat political. Muni-wireless however has a different set of drivers: getting broadband to the community to preserve jobs, increase revenue (partial due to lose of tax revenue due to VoIP), no ISPs or poor/expensive Internet access, community needs etc. Most of these cities also migrate their existing AMR onto the wireless network (e.g. equip’ing police cars with laptops). And best of all, the return on investments are very appealing.

The obvious questions on whether city governments should compete with private companies in providing Internet services. And quoting Vint Cerf, “It is not penal”. :-)

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