A number of major cities around the world have begun the process of making themselves a connected city, one that offers free Internet access for the public. Not to be left out, Chicago is also looking to do the same for its citizens and yesterday, we learnt a little more about their proposed plan.
Their plan is known as the Chicago Broadband Challenge and the goal of their plan is to introduce free WiFi access to both their local parks as well as other public areas. Essentially, the timing of their plan was to coincide with the introduction of free Internet access in Millennium Park.
As the plan is so new, Mayor Emmanuel is encouraging public feedback to ensure that the service is suitable and meets the needs of both local residents as well as companies. In terms of providing feedback, interested citizens can leave their opinions on the city webpage or alternatively through a formal process that is upcoming.
Ultimately, Chicago planners want to develop a network infrastructure that will be able to offer data transfer speeds that are in the gigabit range which is approximately 100 times faster then a basic cable modem. The highest available speeds will be limited to companies that need the bandwidth, by Mayor Emmanuel has also made reference to under served areas that need better Internet access.