AT&T has signed Springfield: Of course, SBC can now pretend to have never lobbied against municipally funded, authorized, or glanced-at wireless. That's not entirely fair. SBC-cum-AT&T and other telcos and cable firms have wanted to--and occasionally had legislation passed to--prevent city-owned and city-funded wireless. The opposition to municipally authorized networks now comes mostly from groups that want cities to own their networks, contracting out their construction and operation. The Springfield deal will include tiered, free access, with details to come. The city council must approve the deal.
Meanwhile, Qwest objects to Minneapolis process: Qwest, never a highly anti-muni-Fi advocate, but neither a great supporter, was an early contender for Minneapolis's long, drawn-out selection for fiber/Wi-Fi operations. They complained yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, that the funds that will be advanced--$2.2m--to winning, local bidder US Internet amount to a subsidy. Here's a great bit from this article: "Asked by Council Member Gary Schiff whether Qwest had ever bid on a metro Wi-Fi network in any city, Stanoch said Qwest did not bid on Wi-Fi networks generally because it believed another wireless technology still being developed would have superior performance to Wi-Fi." Now, I can't disagree with that statement. Wi-Fi is not the best technology for this purpose. It's the best available technology.
Singapore plans national Wi-Fi: I've read bits and pieces about this before, but the plan is apparently well underway, with a major portion done by the end of 2006. They want computers in 100 percent of homes with school-age children, too.