Anytime? Anywhere?: Reframing Debates Around Community and Municipal Wireless Networking

Laura Forlano


Over the past three years, cities across the United States have announced ambitious plans to build community and municipal wireless networks.  The phrase ‘anytime, anywhere’ has had a powerful impact in shaping the way in which debates about these networks have been framed.  However, ‘anytime, anywhere’, which alludes to convenience, freedom and ubiquity, is of little use in describing the realities of municipal wireless networks, and, more importantly, it ignores the particular local characteristics of communities and the specific practices of users.  This paper examines the media representations and technological affordances of wireless networks as well as incorporating the practices of those that build and use them in an attempt to reframe these debates.

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The Journal of Community Informatics. ISSN: 1712-4441