ICT Infrastructure as Public Infrastructure: Exploring the Benefits of Public Wireless Networks

Posted: 20 Jul 2012

See all articles by Catherine A. Middleton

Catherine A. Middleton

Ryerson University - Ted Rogers School of Management

Andrew Clement

University of Toronto - Faculty of Information

Graham Longford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 15, 2006

Abstract

To date, research on municipal and community wireless networks has focused on understanding types of network deployments, policy issues around network ownership, and technical issues of infrastructure design and capability. These are all necessary issues as this nascent form of public infrastructure becomes established, and as stakeholders understand the potential benefits of the deployment and use of wireless networks. However, public wireless network deployments do not always achieve the desired outcomes, resulting in networks that do not realize their potential value for citizens and municipalities. As such, it is also important to consider the extent to which such public infrastructure actually does deliver on its promises, by developing a set of criteria with which to assess public network deployments. This paper presents a "desiderata" for public wireless internet infrastructure. Developed from our understanding of the potential of wireless networking, the desiderata is intended to provide a foundation for a discussion of what public wireless networks should look like. Data from five Canadian wireless network deployments are presented when discussing the desiderata. The paper shows that different types of networks provide certain public benefits, but none of the networks we studied has yet realized the full potential of public wireless networks as outlined in the desiderata. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy concerns related to the development of environments in which public networks can best meet the needs of citizens and municipalities.

Suggested Citation

Middleton, Catherine A. and Clement, Andrew and Longford, Graham, ICT Infrastructure as Public Infrastructure: Exploring the Benefits of Public Wireless Networks (August 15, 2006). TPRC 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2113855

Catherine A. Middleton (Contact Author)

Ryerson University - Ted Rogers School of Management ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.broadbandresearch.ca

Andrew Clement

University of Toronto - Faculty of Information ( email )

140 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6
Canada

Graham Longford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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