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Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

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Postby pod on 10 Apr 2015 13:45

Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami ... em-7566513

Miami Beach is losing its free public wi-fi system. But the bigger news to many Beach residents is likely that the city actually had a free public WiFi system to begin with — it does. It's just terrible.


The Miami Beach city commission voted in fall of 2013 to stop funding the project beginning the 2014 fiscal year and the network is scheduled to go dead beginning May 1. Instead, the city will get a new, faster and stronger system at municipal facilities throughout Miami Beach: It's already installed at several sites, including City Hall, the former 777 Building, the Scott Rakow Youth Center, and the North Shore Youth Center.

The current system, apparently, will be difficult to log onto for the rest of the month.


But for Beach residents and visitors who've actually tried to use it, it's hard to imagine it could get much worse: Ever since Miami Beach commissioners approved a $5 million contract for the service in 2006, the WiFi network has been plagued with problems.


I suspect that another reason the network is being phased out is because LTE service by the commercial providers covers the beach, and does it well.
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Postby benm3 on 10 Apr 2015 16:27

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

I don't think I was ever able to connect to it.
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Postby pod on 10 Apr 2015 16:39

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

benm3 wrote:I don't think I was ever able to connect to it.


I was able to connect most of the time back when it really got rolling in early 2010. But the speeds were iffy at best.

Nowadays I wouldn't bother since LTE via the carriers covers all of South Florida.
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Postby benm3 on 10 Apr 2015 17:07

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

pod wrote:
benm3 wrote:I don't think I was ever able to connect to it.


I was able to connect most of the time back when it really got rolling in early 2010. But the speeds were iffy at best.

Nowadays I wouldn't bother since LTE via the carriers covers all of South Florida.


There are a few perks of city-wide wifi. One would be the lack of data use on my cell plan -- 5GB is hit all too easily these days. Another one for me - I put a wifi-enabled head unit in my car (thanks to NAV-TV) and it has native music streaming apps. It would be fun to just be able to use it anywhere I go here on the beach, though I admittedly dont have to drive too much these days.
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Postby TechJunkie on 10 Apr 2015 20:02

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

I was looking forward to the free Miami Beach wi-fi system for years. Then I tried it one time. I got a mobile hotspot from Verizon immediately and never attempted it again.
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Postby pod on 10 Apr 2015 20:16

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

TechJunkie wrote:I was looking forward to the free Miami Beach wi-fi system for years. Then I tried it one time. I got a mobile hotspot from Verizon immediately and never attempted it again.


I used it when I had to wait for the bus and didn't have a real iPhone.
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Postby coach on 13 Apr 2015 00:29

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

It was terrible, but it was ahead of it's time. Plus, I'm sure it was plagued by graft. Eventually all cities will be covered with Wi-Fi (or whatever comes next).
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Postby pod on 13 Apr 2015 07:16

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

coach wrote:It was terrible, but it was ahead of it's time. Plus, I'm sure it was plagued by graft. Eventually all cities will be covered with Wi-Fi (or whatever comes next).


No need for municipal Wi-Fi. The cell carriers have coverage at very usable speeds and most businesses have free Wi-Fi.
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Postby coach on 13 Apr 2015 17:13

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

pod wrote:
coach wrote:It was terrible, but it was ahead of it's time. Plus, I'm sure it was plagued by graft. Eventually all cities will be covered with Wi-Fi (or whatever comes next).


No need for municipal Wi-Fi. The cell carriers have coverage at very usable speeds and most businesses have free Wi-Fi.

This has not been my experience. Some of the cell coverage is okay for phone usage, although even that is spotty, but not at all for real computer usage. Not to mention the cost of through-put for computer based browsing. Most businesses actually do not have free Wi-Fi.
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Postby pod on 13 Apr 2015 17:22

Re: Miami Beach radically scaling back public Wi-Fi service

Truly free, of course not. Most businesses have a walled garden which asks for your email or social credentials in order to use it. However, there is no up-front monetary cost for the Wi-Fi.

Also, with regards to cell coverage and speeds, I've had nothing but excellent results throughout Dade County with T-Mobile when I've had to tether. The only place it fell apart was out in the swamps and in the extreme south near Turkey Point. Who is your carrier? If you are still with Sprint, I can understand your frustration, they suck.

Municipal Wi-Fi is a noble idea, but in reality the implementation in Miami Beach and most other places has been horrible and superseded by the cell carriers. It made sense in 2005 when even 3G was hard to come by, but by the time it rolled, no one cared.
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