Another city goes WiFi2004-10-19
The city of Moorehead, Minnesota (which borders Fargo, North Dakota) took a step toward joining a growing list of cities that provide WiFi Internet access to its residents and businesses. A story in the local paper notes that the city will charge residents $23 per month and businesses $29 per month for the access. The city council approved the first reading of an amendment to city law allowing Moorehead Public Service, the local utility, to sell Internet access. (Thanks to reader and friend Dean Froslie of Fargo for forwarding the story.)
This is definitely a trend. The next step will be to aggregate access so an account with one service will get you online when you’re in another territory. The current state of the WiFi business model is a mess. My T*Mobile WiFi account, which sets me back nearly $30 a month, is worthless in three-quarters of the airports in which I wind up spending time. There’s no way I’m going to subscribe to Waport and Bongo and half a dozen others. A trade-out arrangement such as those local and national phone companies have (allowing a local company to complete a call over, say, an SBC phone line) is inevitable and can’t happen soon enough. I’m hopeful the cities getting into the WiFi business will speed it along.