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Worst. Muni Wifi. Ever

Brookline’s public wifi had so much promise. But tonight, when I was sitting in the high school auditorium trying to connect, I found out that the system is only available by the month, which means that it competes with the local wired Internet providers — the lowest priced plan gets you 1 mps for $20/month — but it doesn’t let you connect for an hour if that’s all you need, or let travelers and guests get online as they need. Weird. And really disappointing.

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Later that same day: I received this in reply to my whining email to the wifi provider:

We do have a few locations throughout Brookline that are free for one hour
per day. They are in Coolidge Corner, Washington Square, and Brookline Village. We are going to be adding other time features in the future, however, currently we only have a month to month service with no contract. If you only need it for a month and are outside of the areas that are free
and/or you need service more than 1 hour per day, I recommend that you sign up with the monthly package.

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On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal reports on the French requiring France Telecom to provide competitors with access to the fiber optic cable its laying. That enables competition, which helps explain why “in Paris you can get 50 Mbps symmetrical broadband service for 30 EUR per month.”

Requiring whoever wins the 700mH auction in the US to act as a wholesaler to other ISPs could bring about the same sort of opening of the bit-floodgates.

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