There’s a report in the papers and on the news today about offering Free wireless for Dublin City. The city council has tendered for consultants to evaluate what their approach should be.
At the same time, the city council is at pains to point out that it doesn’t have the 10 or 20 million euros this will cost available to roll out the network itself and will need help from the government or the private sector.
FON is the obvious answer to deploying this network. In the town of Blanquefort, FON rolled out 1000 hotspots in a matter of months to provide blanket wi-fi coverage.
How did the people of Blanquefort achieve this? Simple. The mayor of Blanquefort decided to buy 1000 routers from fon (the routers cost 30 euros each retail, so you can take it he got them a bit cheaper than that) and then got strategically based citizens to connect them to the broadband connections that were already in place in homes and businesses. The participants benefit by getting free access to the network, or alternatively, by getting a share of the revenue. There are no ongoing extra costs for the city to run the network.
This image of the map of the FON coverage in the Blanquefort is courtesy of 21croissants
The “strategically placed” bit is important. When I was heading to Le Web in December I checked the FONero locations near my hotel (I assumed the cheap hotel wouldn’t have internet access but it did). There seemed to be five or six in reasonably close proximity but I wasn’t able to pick up any signal when I got there.
Have you guys done any estimates of the density required for full coverage in (for example) a small town?
We now have two in Bandon so I think we’ve a ways to go yet. I must encourage some of the local coffee shops like Urru and Broly’s and Prego to sign-up – that would cover a good chunk of the main shopping area.