Although after the city is restored to normalcy, the speeds will have to be pulled down a bit, the hope seems to be that city wide Internet will make the area much more conducive to business.
Think about it -- nothing is left with all infrastructure including the one that delivered their prior Internet -- gone!
I think that wi-fi is definitely an economic development tool.
- New York has a plan to create "Wi-Fi NY"
- Digital Communities talks about many cities using Wi-Fi for economic development including the development of "hot zones" downtown.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots have become important as you can see from USA today's Hotspot finder.
I think Wi-Fi makes a lot of sense and would be a great plus for small communities like mine of Camilla, Georgia. Vacationers could come to our city away from it all but still sit in our new coffeeshop and surf the net or shop in our shops and still use their wi-fi enabled devices.
We have the technology now to do this with our City Internet -- all we need is a couple of wireless nodes and we're set!
We've made such strides in revitalizing downtown. We have many people now I know who travel to Albany to sit at a "hot spot" drink coffee or have their family shop while they work. Yes it is early and many citizens would not understand -- but the types of people who do understand have money and demand wi-fi. We want them shopping in Camilla.