This paper gathers together the basic economic arguments for and against public provision of municipal WiFi. First, we consider what type of economic good WiFi is, and the logic for public rather than market provision. Second, we review four main economic arguments against public WiFi (capitalization; no market failure; competitive distortion; inefficiency of supply side response). Finally, we consider what may be the strongest, yet least made, case for publicly funded municipal WiFi, which is local demand discovery as an implicit subsidy for WiFi entrepreneurship and innovation.
This article explores how free Wi-Fi services offered by cultural institutions and municipalities influence public spaces, and asks how such services can engender practices which promote the social good.
The AdelaideFree network is one of the world's largest free Wi-Fi services, offering coverage across most of the Adelaide CBD and surrounds. Built by iiNet with funding from the State Government of South Australia and the Adelaide City Council (ACC), it utilises the fibre optic assets of the ACC, Adam Internet and Internode to provide high performance wireless services to public and private users.
The paper shows that Wi-Fi in apartment blocks is a true commons and, therefore, over-congestion can only be avoided by having the individual access point (AP) operators collaborating with each other. The paper concludes that AP operators will most likely enter collaboration voluntarily, and further regulation is not deemed necessary.