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An exploration of user-generated wireless broadband infrastructures in digital cities

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 10:54 by Catherine A. Middleton, Amelia Bryne
This paper examines the broadband connectivity options available in digital cities. It offers an overview of services provided by commercial operators, the public sector and by citizens themselves, arguing that shortcomings in existing fixed broadband and commercial mobile broadband services provide an opportunity for citizens to share their own wireless broadband connections. It explores Wi-Fi hotspot provider FON's approach to extending mobile broadband infrastructure by enabling shared connections within communities. The paper outlines some reasons why this specific user-generated approach to infrastructure provision has been unable to deliver highly robust broadband infrastructure, and discusses ways in which users and the public sector can be involved in developing new mobile infrastructures that will meet citizens' needs.