This paper gathers together the basic economic arguments for and against public provision of municipal WiFi. First, we consider what type of economic good WiFi is, and the logic for public rather than market provision. Second, we review four main economic arguments against public WiFi (capitalization; no market failure; competitive distortion; inefficiency of supply side response). Finally, we consider what may be the strongest, yet least made, case for publicly funded municipal WiFi, which is local demand discovery as an implicit subsidy for WiFi entrepreneurship and innovation.
Select the newsletters to which you want to subscribe