Does Ponca City Have the Fastest Free Wi-Fi in the Nation?

Source: Wayne Hanson, Government Technology, March 26, 2014

A small Oklahoma city claims it does — and local officials did it themselves. …

… While the network can be accessed by wireless-enabled devices throughout the city, residents can install a Wi-Fi modem in their house to receive a stronger signal indoors. The optional modem, called a Pepwave, costs about $150 and comes set up to connect to the free public network. The city got local computer stores to stock and support the devices, and in so doing, helped those businesses. … But there’s more to the network than hard-dollar cost savings. During the recent recession, the $30 to $70 per month residents had previously paid to commercial Internet service providers stayed in Ponca City, helping “churn the economy,” Stephenson said. In addition, Stephenson and Baird cited the network as a huge benefit to the schools and career technology center to help train and keep students in the area for economic development…..