Vermont gets WiFi at rest stops

Submitted by acohill on Fri, 09/02/2005 - 12:24

The state of Vermont is installing WiFi at every rest stop in the state. A grant is helping to fund the initial equipment expenditure, but fees will pay for the management and ongoing expense.

It looks like it has been well-thought out. Government is providing the initial infrastructure, the private sector manages it, which creates jobs, and the public that want to use it pay a modest fee.

This is a great example of a public/private partnership, and this is not "competing" with the private sector; it is creating private sector business opportunities. And tax dollars are not funding it; user fees are. And it is modest in scope. I'm very wary of big wireless projects that don't have well-identified markets. Rest stops have a ready and willing supply of truckers, tourists, and businesspeople who I think will be happy to pay a few bucks for access.

Particularly innovative is the option to buy access for a whole year. This is likely to be very popular with in-state business travelers, and the fee is very reasonable ($250, or about $20/month).

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