San Jose, California is upgrading the downtown Wi-Fi network that it installed in 2005 (see MuniWireless article about the San Jose Wi-Fi RFP in 2005). Now, the city will be using Ruckus Wireless equipment to replace the old access points and it is reportedly paying for the network out of general parking and revenue funds ($100,000 total upgrade cost, $22,000 in annual maintenance costs). The city claims it could use the network not just for public Wi-Fi access but for a host of municipal applications, but the city has not released a timetable on when those applications will be implemented. I don’t see anything new in this model of municipal Wi-Fi deployment but it does come at a time when many more people are walking around with iPhones and iPads, unlike in 2005.
For more details, see Networkworld article about the San Jose municipal WiFi network.