The Washington Post (and others) report today on New Orleans’ launch of the first-ever city-owned WiFi network available for free.
Apparently Louisiana law prohibits localities from offering connection speeds above 144 Kbps (telco lobbyists getting their way in the name of “preventing competition”), but the 512 Kbps speed predicted by city officials currently gets the green light because the city remains in a state of emergency, temporarily removing the teeth of said telco-friendly laws.
Intel and Tropos Networks were among those who donated the equipment required for the WiFi infrastructure, currently up and running in the city’s central business district as well as the French Quarter. Outside of the public, city officials believe the network will see regular use by law enforcement and likely emergency personnel, as well as other city government functions. Might not be enough to get your game on, but it’s perfect for e-mailing and other light web work. Anyone reading this from said network should give us a shout.