Tempe, the Phoenix suburb that is home to Arizona State University, is due to have wireless Internet available for all of its 160,000 residents in February, becoming the first city of its size in the United States to have Wi-Fi throughout. Tempe officials hope that by making high-speed Internet as accessible as water or electricity across its 40 square miles, it will attract more technology and biotech companies - and the young, upwardly mobile employees they bring.
I tried to interest our district tech folks in this type of idea for Littleton (well, at least our part of Littleton/Centennial/unincorporated Arapahoe County). School districts are - for once - in a uniquely strong position to offer this service and receive some revenue. Because LPS has schools spread all around, we could enter into an agreement with an ISP to position wireless transmitters on all of our schools. Combined with a few select other locations, we could blanket the area with high-speed wireless. Schools could then not only use the wireless network ourselves (presumably for little or no cost), but the district would also bring in some on-going revenue (potentially a lot of revenue) as users from the surrounding community paid for wireless access. I didn't get much response, other than they had briefly thought about it. Maybe I'll try to pursue it again . . .