Long Island communities figure out how to deliver free Wi-Fi

While some municipalities are struggling to find money to pay for Wi-Fi hotzones, Long Island communities such as Copiague and Babylon, have managed to tap into grants from the US Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services program by deploying a Wi-Fi network that also supports wireless video surveillance cameras. As we’ve stated here on Muniwireless time and time again, it’s more cost-effective to deploy a Wi-Fi network that will be used not only by residents and businesses for Internet access, but also by the local government for municipal applications. Indeed, many municipalities have gone a step further and set up community-wide wireless networks that are used for automated meter reading, so this is a trend that has will continue to gather steam.

Yet I still see many cities waste so much money by using a cellular network for parking meters (how expensive is that?), a separate network for public safety, and a Wi-Fi network for public access, if they have one at all. With the arrival of the 802.11n standard and the introduction of wireless equipment running on 802.11n, municipalities have a chance to save money by building a network that can be used for multiple purposes.