Austin is going wireless

Austin is planning to deploy a municipal wireless network in their downtown in October. According to the Austin Daily Herald there was a blip in the pilot project earlier this spring. Leaves it turns out were getting in the way of the waves (we’ve seen that in Minnesota before) but they are upgrading the equipment and the project is moving ahead.

Here are some quick facts:

The project costs $1.2 million.
They plan to eventually serve the whole city with 425 access points.
The subscriber costs have not yet been determined.

When I was a kid I used to spend a week every summer in Austin visiting my great Aunt Banty. It’s a great town, probably best known as Spamtown, USA. I suspect that they get a fair amount of tech-savvy visitors to the Spam Museum so I bet that network is well loved and well used.

Austin has about 23,000 residents and a couple of large businesses, specifically Hormel (only Minnesota-based Fortune 500 Company outside the Twin Cities) and the Austin Medical Center, which is tied to the Mayo. These companies must have their own infrastructure, fiber I assume; it will be interesting to see if the wireless has an impact on smaller businesses.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, MN, Rural, Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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