Why Are Miami Beach Taxpayers Spending $5 Million on Wi-Fi That Doesn't Work?
The announcement came in October with much ado and a "wire cutting" outside Miami Beach City Hall.
"We are the first in the country to have a free citywide hotspot," City Manager Jorge Gonzalez crowed to the Miami Herald.
Well, Jorge, there might be a good reason for that.
After a more than three-year delay and $5 million signed away, Miami Beach's Wi-Fi project is still spotty at best. Signals are strong in high-traffic public areas, but if you live on the Beach, good luck trying to join the network in your condo or back yard.
Even worse, technology experts wonder why a city needs free Wi-Fi in the age of web-browsing phones. That's exactly why pretty much every other metropolis in America dropped their plans of going wireless in the early 2000s.
"Everyone today is walking around with smartphones with 3G and iPhones," says Glenn Fleishman, a freelance technology writer for Wi-Fi Net News. "There's a really marginal audience who want public wi-fi and don't have access to an alternate method."
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