Rhode Island leads nation in wireless investment

Rhode Island tops the nation in wireless technology investment, according to a CDW Government study of state and local government purchasing behavior.

CDW-G identified Rhode Island as the only state worthy of the study’s “lead investor” category. To be placed in that category, a state must demonstrate significant investment in 802.11 wireless technologies at all levels of government. CDW-G’s study covered the period from 2000 to 2005.

Alan Weiss, CDW-G director of public sector sales, state and local government, said Rhode Island’s ability to provide statewide wireless coverage helped the state reach the highest investment category. The study cited the state’s Rhode Island Wireless Innovation Networks, a border-to-border broadband wireless initiative.

Ranking after Rhode Island were Ohio, Colorado, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. The study grouped those states in a lower category, "early investor."

States in the lead and early 802.11 investor categories shared some common characteristics, according to CDW-G. Among those were strong public-private partnerships, private-sector leadership in generating wireless hot spots and strong execution at county and city levels, the company noted. Public safety programs are the driving force behind many wireless projects, Weiss noted.

The wireless study is the second in a series of reports stemming from CDW-G’s State & Local Government Technology Investment Curve assessment.

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