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Front Page » Top Stories » Street lights may deliver free Wi-Fi

Street lights may deliver free Wi-Fi

Written by on August 28, 2018
Street lights may deliver free Wi-Fi

Miami-Dade is considering two options to bring free Wi-Fi to public transit: incorporate the technology into either new bus shelters or street lights, Miami-Dade Information Technology Director Angel Petisco said.
Both options would work, he said Tuesday, but street lights, which allow for more widespread service, would be more versatile.
“The one in bus shelters is very specific,” he said. “Lighting has a much larger footprint and can benefit more than the average bus rider.”
A June request for proposals hasn’t yet yielded a contract, but Mr. Petisco is confident free Wi-Fi will arrive within five years, particularly due to imminent 5G technology.
Representatives of Verizon, AT&T and other communications companies met last month with Mr. Petisco and others preparing Miami-Dade for 5G connectivity, which he estimates will be in use by 2020.
The fastest wireless speed now, 4G LTE, peaks at about 45 megabits per second. New 5G networks could increase data speeds by more than 22,000%.
About 300,000 “small cell” devices necessary for carrying 5G across areas of varying population density must be installed – double the number of cell towers built in the past 30 years.
Connecting those devices to street lights, Mr. Petisco said, would be a fine solution.
“Everyone wants to do 5G, and part of this allows organizations to put apparatuses on these fixtures so they can spread 5G into more of Miami-Dade County,” he said. “The fact that’s so prevalent and pushing industry so hard, the adoption for this will be significant.”
In February, Massachusetts-based CIVIQ Smartscapes LLC terminated a deal to install free transit Wi-Fi, hundreds of Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks and security cameras throughout the county when the county didn’t provide enough kiosk locations.
Advertising on kiosks would have funded the $20 million project at no cost to taxpayers, with the county getting a share.

4 Responses to Street lights may deliver free Wi-Fi

  1. F. Cabrer

    August 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    What would be the range of the light-mounted wifi? Would bus riders have a few seconds of wifi before it cuts off and then have to wait until they are in range of the next traffic light? If we are going this route doesn’t it just make more sense to put the wifi on the buses so that it’s continuous access? This is how it’s done on the trains

    • Jeanetta

      August 30, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Many buses are currently equipped to be able to provide wifi with their location enabled devices that track the buses but are not made available to the public, at least with my experience in working for a transit agency. If wifi was made available via street lights it would open the possibilities for so many more people to have access as opposed to only bus patrons.

  2. Tallaman

    August 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Users would use the free wifi and cancel their existing high speed internet service, putting many providers out of business. Is that what government is for?

  3. roberto pulido

    September 1, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    The Internet is need for almost any thing to be free will be a very good solution for the rising cost .the competition is the way for better.