Just got a cool bit of news from my hometown of Pleasanton, California, a southeastern suburb of San Francisco. Insidebayarea.com is reporting that Pleasanton is setting up free public wifi nodes in the downtown area of the city.
Initially the idea was explored to provide police officers internet access while patrolling downtown public areas. But the proposal submitted to the city council at their meeting last Tuesday includes more expansive applications, including increasing public traffic in city centers and facilitating local business activities like credit card verifications. The proposal does a nice cost/benefit analysis of how free public wifi will effect the city, including projections of potential competition with other ISPs.
Good news for me when I am visiting home. In the past, I have had to drive to the other side of town to get to the one cafe that offered free wifi service. Now I can just bike downtown.
Nice to see some local governments seeing the wisdom of providing public access to ICTs.