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Study will determine whether St. Louis region could go wi-fi

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – An ongoing study will try to figure out how to install wireless internet, wi-fi, across St. Louis County.

And there are even grander hopes to make the entire region wireless...

You can already get wi-fi in public places like coffee shops and libraries as well as private homes. But St. Louis County wants to know how to make it available everywhere.

Leaders also want to see if cooperation between counties could result in a consistent region-wide wireless hook-up.

David Sandal's report due soon should answer some of those questions, and he says St. Louis is a trend-setter in that it's looking region-wide.

"Currently these kinds of projects are focused on a large city, and there's no plan to scale them beyond the city," noted Sandal. "But the county model is to include all the surrounding municipalities and to be scaleable, so it's different in that way."

Installing all the right equipment to make the region wireless would cost millions, and no one has any definite plans for how to pay. But one option would be finding a company that installs everything for free in exchange for getting to charge residents for the wi-fi access.


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