Atlanta lays out WiFi plans

Atlanta will offer citywide wireless Internet service within three years if recently approved plans to build a for-pay network come to fruition.

The Atlanta city council passed legislation allowing city officials to go ahead with Atlanta FastPass, the official title of the city's WiFi initiative. It will first be established at city hall and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and then rolled out to other areas around the city.

Biltmore Communications, the Atlanta service provider that will build the network and manage the wireless service, already provides both wired and wireless broadband services in the area and its wireless hotspots will eventually be integrated into the network.

Users will be able to opt for a variety of access plans, from day passes to a monthly subscription. The city also hopes to attract other service providers through roaming agreements to provide their customers with access through FastPass.

As well as an added attraction for businesses and Atlanta's important tourist trade, the city is also looking to the new network to help it with more basic problems. The network brings important benefits to the community as a whole, such as workforce development, educational enrichment and bridging the digital divide, said Jabari Simama, executive director of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's office of community technology.

Development of citywide wireless networks are starting to gather pace, though Atlanta is one of the biggest yet to make an announcement. Smaller cities such as Cerritos in California have also decided to go wireless, though the only comparable Atlanta-sized city so far to announce its intentions has been Cleveland, which plans to deliver wireless to all its areas by 2006 through a network called OneCleveland.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.