Utility workers armed with the latest wireless gadgets will be able to read electric meters remotely using Wi-Fi networks many cities are contemplating. Police and building inspectors can file and retrieve reports on the go. City employees carrying Wi-Fi phones can also reduce cellular phone bills. Maybe even business can tap into such Wi-Fi networks.
In fact, officials in St. Cloud, Fla., figured they were saving enough to pay for their network's $2.6m construction and estimated $400,000 annual operating costs. It's how they justified giving all residents free Internet access on the system.
Yet other municipal projects are counting on subscription or advertising revenues from residential usage. Some are in danger of failing if they cannot boost demand.
In cases where private companies are agreeing to finance the networks in exchange for rights to sell services or ads, the vendors have become more demanding of cities, insisting that they agree to spend a minimum amount for public safety and other municipal applications under arrangements known as anchor tenancy.That would guarantee a revenue stream to supplement what vendors might be able to sell to residents and businesses.
Source: Mobile Tech Today, http://www.mobile-tech-today.com
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