Baltimore's harbor area now has free Wi-Fi: The city is promoting the service, which was donated by a local Internet company.
Alan Reiter points to an interesting result of free city-run Wi-Fi networks: they compete with for-fee services offered by other companies. The folks at Believe Wireless, a Baltimore company offering Wi-Fi for a monthly fee, aren't very happy about the city's free service.
Huh, that's an interesting point. Realistically though, the fee services will always have competition from the free services, whether they are run by the city or some independent cafe. Maybe, down the road, cities will try to work something out with the providers. Like the city will provide a cloud over outdoor areas or public places and the service providers will offer Wi-Fi in closed spaces like restaurants and coffee shops.
Alan also has reviewed Verizon's higher speed data service and comes up with download speeds in the low 200 Kbps range. Verizon touts the service in the 300-500 Kbps range. Upload speeds are pretty poor--around 40 Kbps.