Just Try To Sell Against This

1 April 2004

When I found MuniWireless.com I was convinced of the merits of municipal wi-fi networks. This morning I found this:

Did you know that Austin Wireless City has more free hotspots in Austin, Texas than T-Mobile? According to Rich MacKinnon, president of Austin Wireless City, T-Mobile has 34 for-pay Wi-Fi locations in Starbucks, Kinkos, Borders, and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Austin Wireless City Project has 36 free Wi-Fi locations in small and medium, independently-owned businesses such as Book People, Ruta Maya, Quacks 43rd Street Bakery, and Opal Divines.

Austin Wireless City boasts more hotspots than T-Mobile in Austin

I know. What if Opal or Ruta Maya go out of business? What if they aren’t where you normally go? That’s where the proof of concept is so clear. For a rather small investment, this network can be expanded beyond the boundaries of those small businesses and could become a profit-based enterprise that still undercuts the cable and DSL prices offered in an area.

For the true road warrior, services like T-Mobile’s have their place. For a person that travels often and simply must have a reliable spot for access, T-Mobile will provide that service. For the local home or small business, living under the Wi-Fi Cloud of Austin could be a far more attractive ISP option. Whether sitting in the family room or sitting in the park, a wi-fi cloud would give Austin’s residents freedom from the cable or DSL tether.

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