Booming Arizona town opts for free Wi-Fi: The town's population has swelled from 3,200 to 14,000 over six years ending last year, with another 5,000 moving in this year alone. The town is south of Tucson. The town council has voted to move forward on the mayor's proposal for citywide free Wi-Fi service. The cost is estimated at $3m, which seems rather high for a town of its population and area.
Burleson gets Wi-Fi water reading: Chevron Energy Services and RedMoon Broadband have contracted to build a Wi-Fi network across this Texas town. They'll test automatic meter reading, which is of huge interest to cities because it would allow more accurate tracking of usage, demand-based pricing and adjustment, and a reduction in theft of services, a substantial cost to many utilities. It can also reduce staffing costs as fleets of meter readers retire as meters are replaced. They'll also look into selling public access to the network.
Charleston, S.C., launches free Wi-Fi this week: The network, funded privately, was to launch at the end of 2005. But trees, brick, and concrete have hampered deployments. The article states that $500,000 was spent, which seems crazily low. Free access is 256 Kbps and offers no security, the article notes, while paid service (1 Mbps and faster) starts at $20 per month. The network encrypts traffic among mesh nodes, which should be de rigeur, but paid subscribers receive a VPN client. They're clearly using Vivato equipment as part of the system because their network--you have to load a large Flash presentation to see this--includes both mesh and "a system of Phased Array antennas panels."