WiFi in a municipality opens the doors to many possibilities, especially if you wish to revitalize your downtown or a section of your city and make it more inviting to would-be visitors or residents.
In one of our many municipal wireless deployments, the Downtown BRZ in the City of Lethbridge, the WiFi infrastructure can now be used for many purposes with many options, including:
- Continue to offer free WiFi. In the past, free WiFi abuse was a concern, but many technologies allow for easy management of limits, restrictions, banning, etc, of abuse cases.
- Option to add new WiFi Networks at no additional hardware or infrastructure cost.While free WiFi typically requires no username or password and comes with no encryption, secure networks are available. Additional networks can be deployed in a matter of minutes that provide necessary security and authentication options. Some real-life applications can include
- City staff and equipment use
- Surveillance Cameras
- Convention/Trade show/Live video streams
- Optional Cost Recovery by charging a fee for access (pay-as-you-go). Free access may continue on a limited bandwidth and time basis such as one hour per day, but a premium access option could be provided for a fee.
What does a basic setup look like?
The above setup covers more than a city block (a public park and many businesses) and costs under $6,500 for all hardware and services with brand new enterprise-grade outdoor equipment with a 1-year warranty. Indoor equipment carries a lifetime warranty. In addition to the capital costs, monthly ongoing costs include a required Internet Service Provider connection and an optional maintenance agreement.
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