Wi-Fi Failing Elsewhere

The other day I brought my personal laptop into work and tried to connect to the wireless system here. I hadn’t done that in a while and I was surprised to find the familiar connection was gone. I found out the old one had been exchanged for a new secured network. I got the password and logged on.

While searching I briefly was able to get a weak signal from the downtown Bremerton free wireless Internet. Our building is outside the coverage area, but it was there for a minute.

CLICK HERE to see a map of Bremerton’s free Wi-Fi coverage area.

I don’t know how Bremerton will measure the success of its system, since it’s designed to be free, but cities elsewhere are having trouble.

Across the United States, many cities are finding their Wi-Fi projects costing more and drawing less interest than expected, leading to worries that a number will fail, resulting in millions of dollars in wasted tax dollars or grants when there had been roads to build and crime to fight.

This comes from an AP story we ran today as Editor’s Choice (which is available in the print edition of the Kitsap Sun). The Lompoc, Calif. system highlighted in the story is different than the one in Bremerton. The city there invested $3 million to offer it to everyone willing to subscribe and got far fewer subscriptions than expected.

But other cities that are implementing systems similar to Bremerton’s are also experiencing trouble, or at least having to lower expectations.

Because systems are just coming online, it’s premature to say how many or which ones will fail under current operating plans, but the early signs are troubling.
“I will be surprised if the majority of these are successful and they do not prove to be drains on taxpayers’ money,” said Michael Balhoff, former telecom equity analyst with Legg Mason Inc. “The government is getting into hotly contested services.”

7 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Failing Elsewhere

  1. From my experience, the Harborside connection is worthless. I’ve never been able to connect, neither has a co-worker. I don’t try any longer.

  2. This is one of many tax funded projects in Bremerton that cost far more than they are worth. I am sure that Norm Dicks will continue to bring home the federal funds so Bremerton can continue wasting them. There did I say that without calling anyone any nasty names?

  3. Gary Johnson — you said your statement in such a metered fashion. Obviously the PC re-education therapy worked wonders on you. AS THEY SAY, HAVE A NICE DAY. HAPPY THOUGHTS !!

  4. Well James it is a shame that the Wifi area is in in Jan Angel’s district. If it were in Josh Brown’s district I am sure that he knows how to set up a Wifi router himself.

  5. Jacob “Jake” Metcalf — ah the sweet memories of seminal lawsuit. I guess you are talking about Commissioner Brown’s own (dis)ingenious method of keeping down Wi-Fi costs: stealing from his neighbors at the Perry Avenue campaign HQ (wink-wink-nod-not, I mean his bachelor pad). Again, repeating sworn court room testimony has the defense of truth.

  6. It is such a shame that you can only use it for 300 minutes. Kind of silly. If you are going to go through all the effort to implement a free WiFi network, you might as well make it truly free, and not just in the limited sense that it is now.

  7. Is this the kind of free that you have to be standing on your head below the hot spot to get a connection type of free?

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