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Lincoln Launches Municipal Wi-Fi

June 04, 2014

Lincoln Launches Municipal Wi-Fi



By Mandira Srivastava
TMCnet Contributor



Lincoln, Neb. has joined the ranks of cities offering free Wi-Fi access. Lincoln’s deployment uses a cloud-based approach that moves some of the infrastructure underlying the Wi-Fi network to a data center operated by Ruckus Wireless (News - Alert). Ruckus calls its offering Smart Wi-Fi Access Management Service (SAMS).


Longer term, the city has considerably more ambitious plans. “Our long-term goal is to make Lincoln one of the most connected cities in the nation,” said Lincoln mayor Chris Beutler in today’s announcement, which noted that the rollout will occur in multiple phases.

If all goes well, the city will extend coverage to Centennial Mall, an outdoor renovated pedestrian-friendly public space that links the Capitol building to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Lincoln has installed its own fiber network in the downtown area. It shares the fiber network with the local electric utility, the state government and the university. It also leases capacity to telecom carriers. Now, the city uses its fiber capacity as the backhaul for the municipal Wi-Fi network.

 Lincoln can offer independent small ISPs — wired and wireless — lower rates for backhaul connectivity and they, in turn, can sell broadband services at competitive prices. The municipal fiber/Wi-Fi network has many uses other than simply providing Internet access: traffic management, smart grid, “Internet of Things”, public safety, etc.

Chris Beutler, the mayor of Lincoln, NE said in a statement, “Access to wireless technology in our public spaces for use by residents, visitors and even businesses is becoming an expectation. This public-private partnership gives residents and visitors a reliable Wi-Fi connection in one of the most exciting areas of our community. It’s the first step in our initiative to expand the service to more of the Railyard, Haymarket and West Haymarket area. It also lays the foundation for future wireless connectivity projects.”




Edited by Maurice Nagle
 
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