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Akron, Ohio to provide free citywide WiFi, inevitably fail within a few years

Nilay Patel

Municipal WiFi systems in the US have been pretty much failures across the board, but the good people of Akron, Ohio are apparently in for another go-round -- the city's just committed some $800,000 to build out a free wireless network over the next five years. The service will be installed and operated by a nonprofit called OneCommunity, which just received a $4.5M grant as part of a $25M commitment from the John S. and John L. Knight Foundation to implement digital access projects in 26 cities. The University of Akron has kicked in another $350,000, since the signal will cover its campus as well as the downtown area -- all in, some 90,000 residents and 31,000 workers will get access through the project. The network will start lighting up in the next year -- let's hope it fares better than other city WiFi projects.

[Thanks, Glenn]

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