Chicago’s plan for municipal Wi-Fi is both slim on details and suffering from many of the same problems that have plagued municipal Wi-Fi systems wherever they have been attempted. Municipal Wi-Fi systems in cities like San Francisco, Boston, Houston and Seattle have all struggled to remain viable, and have all faced significant cost overruns and little interest from customers. Instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a muni Wi-Fi system that is not needed, Chicago should focus on creating a vibrant market that would encourage telecom companies to provide these services privately, through competitive tax rates and business regulations. — Matthew Glans, senior policy analyst, Heartland Institute, Chicago
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