Free not always better for muni-WiFi

Municipal wireless experts are urging cities to think before rushing to install free wireless networks paid for by advertising because they may not be sustainable in the long term. Looking at San Francisco, every small and midsized U.S. city wants to offer free WiFi. A recent interview I had with Motorola confirmed the same thing: The majority of America's city leaders want free WiFi. But the business model just doesn't play out for the majority of municipalities that don't have the density San Francisco does. "I'm thinking more than a handful of these cities will be disappointed. It's unfortunate because there is a viable case for cities running networks and getting nice ROI. But they want free first, and I don't blame them," Rick Rotondo, Motorola's mesh networking marketing director, told FierceWireless.

For more about the free WiFi conundrum:
- read this report from The Financial Times