California Town Gets Unwired Next Month
By Eric Lin, Tue Dec 02 22:45:00 GMT 2003

Cities up and down the California coast are installing WiFi zones in shopping and restaurant districts in hopes of drawing locals and tourists. Cerrito one ups towns like Long Beach and San Diego by unwiring the entire LA suburb, not just for shoppers, but for residents who can't get high speed internet installed in their homes.

Next month the people of Cerritos, California will be able to get wireless internet access anywhere in their small LA suburb. The residents had complained that they could not get DSL in some parts of town, nor was their cable network broadband ready. City officials took matters into their own hands and contracted Aiirnet to create a citywide wi-fi network.

Small boxes will be installed throughout the city, which will provide coverage for residents and local agencies alike. A blurb in CBS Marketwatch mentions that the city will pay for 60 access accounts, which leads us to believe that residents will need to a pay a subscription fee to access the network. However since one fee should get residents access anywhere they go in town, it sounds like a compelling business model. There's no mention of how much access fees will be, nor who will profit from them.

On a longer timeline, Intel is trying to convince officials in Houston County, Georgia to unwire the entire district with a WiMax network for a cool USD 2 million. Of course no one knows where the money will come from yet, but Intel sounds confident that it will happen. As municple authorities become high speed internet providers, where does that leave both carriers and today's WiFi and high speed ISPs?