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Will this service actually remain relevant for 5 years? Aren't we supposed to be getting free broadband?

The strongest appeal of WasabInet is that its works right now, as has been demonstrated many times throughout this country and elsewhere.

Free broadband in the style of free TV and radio broadcast is certainly a dream, and the recent decision by the FCC to approve White Space broadband devices almost certainly paves the way.  Nevertheless, although companies like Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Google are working to have White Space-capable computers and handsets on the market in 1 to 2 years, no one has yet announced plans to make White Space routers (i.e. what your laptop would actually connect to).

Furthermore, short of a federally-mandated program for free broadband nationwide (which would take years to implement), no one has yet proposed a viable business model for ubiquitous broadband access that makes it appealing to the companies that actually own most of this country's Internet infrastructure (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, Time/Warner, and Comcast).

Finally, the benefit of a neighborhood scale Wifi-savvy presence like WasabiNet is that would put St. Louis residents in an ideal position to adopt next-generation broadband technologies as they appear, rather than wait years for the technology to trickle down.  For example, should White Space broadband become truly viable, WasabiNet subscribers could opt to purchase the new equipment to speed up the Mesh or even expand their network beyond the borders of Benton Park West.