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Brighton Council in the UK worked with a service provider for a broadband wireless network: The network will be used by the city and will also be offered to residents. The network was at least partly funded by the council and Techworld wonders if this might be the best model for municipal networks in the future. Basically Brighton Council said they’d use the network so the operator built it and now can also sell access to residents. There are some municipalities in the U.S. that have considered this type of private-public arrangement and it makes the most sense, although where the Brighton example gets sticky is that the council provided some funding for the build of the network. Ideally, a city might guarantee a minimum amount of usage on a network for a certain number of years so that an operator can make sure the business can work.
It’s true that the hubbub we’ve seen in the U.S. over city-sponsored networks doesn’t seem to have come up in other countries. I remember linking to a story with a quote from a BT executive saying that they wouldn’t make a fuss about it. But maybe that comment was made because at the time few councils in the UK were talking about funding networks.
Posted by nancyg at July 4, 2005 4:21 PM
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