DailyWireless lists their 10 Most Connected Cities in the World.
Most of the implementations lauded in this article are in Asia, although wireless mesh “in U.S. cities” gets the nod at #7.
The coolest use of wireless broadband probably goes to Shoreditch, England, which created a sous-veillance IPTV system where one can use their telly to access any public security or traffic camera. As the article says, “After all, what type of criminal would be inclined to steal a car knowing that a few hundred people are watching him?”
The article is generally quite bullish – perhaps too bullish. For example, it doesn’t note the economic issues plaguing Taipei’s WiFly service. Apparently even at a piddly US $12.50/hour, Q-Ware is struggling to reach a sustainable user base – free coffeeshop wireless, ubiquitous ADSL in homes and customer apathy to mobile access are to blame.
Moreover, in the US, municipal Wi-Fi networks including Corpus Christi are getting mixed reviews due to supposedly sluggish performance and poor coverage.
So is Wi-Fi all hat and no cattle? It may be too early to tell. Taipei for its part is branching out into offering Wi-Fi to Sony PSPs, digital cameras, and launching a VoIP service. Munis are urging indoor web surfers to purchase signal repeaters to amplify the signals from outdoor APs.
Perhaps this is more of a case of resetting customer expectation – a mindshare market adjustment if you will. Time will tell.