WiFi som en hiss till ekonomisk utveckling. USA har fallet efter länder som Korea och Japan i Internetutvecklingen, och nu försöker många amerikanska städer bygga egna skattefinansierade WiFinätverk för att stimulera ekonomisk tillväxt. Den amerikanska kabelindustrin kämpar desperat mot de här initiativen och har hittils lyckats hålla tillbaks utvecklingen på en del ställen. Men fler och fler städer inser nu att man helt enkelt måste kämpa mot den fria ekonomin och skattefinansiera sådana här viktiga infrastrukturprojekt. Det här är något som Sverige skulle kunna lära sig mycket av tror jag:
City leaders believe technology may prove one way to draw them in.
In February, Fullerton began offering free wireless Internet service over 24 blocks in the city’s core, a project financed with $50,000 from the redevelopment agency and one that proponents hope will lure people — and their spending — downtown.
People such as James Campbell, who sat on a bench one recent day with his laptop reading e-mail and buying airline tickets while his 2-year-old daughter played at a downtown park.
“It was great,” Campbell said. “It frees us of those chains that bind us to our desk at home.”
Fullerton officials aren’t alone in seeing wireless Internet service, or WiFi, as an important part of redevelopment plans. From Los Angeles to Long Beach to Riverside, cities across Southern California — and the nation — are spending big bucks or recruiting donors to bring free WiFi to downtown areas, and in some cases to entire cities.
The networks, installed by cities and created with radios perched on streetlights, have a greater range than the “hot spots” popular in coffeehouses. Having WiFi access is becoming more important to people such as business travelers, who are choosing hotels based on whether they have free WiFi, said Curt Gibbs of Los Angeles’ Community Redevelopment Agency. Gibbs wants to attract those very people to linger downtown.
“Having Internet access is so important to doing business,” said Gibbs, whose agency will soon begin spending $25,000 a year to bring free WiFi to downtown’s Pershing Square.
Officials in Long Beach credit free WiFi with helping aid their downtown redevelopment. Soon after WiFi was launched there in 2003, Long Beach landed a major technology conference.