Guayaquil goes Wi-Fi
Juan Pueblo is an allegoric figure and a emblematic character of our city, Guayaquil
Some good news for the fellow citizens interested in Wi-Fi and Wireless Technologies: the City Hall of Guayaquil has started a project called “Guayaquil Digital”, which is essentially the deployment of free Wi-Fi along parks, schools and colleges within Guayaquil, my home city.
From this month, three high schools, three Universities and two near zones will benefit from this project. While the service has a limited backhaul (internet) bandwidth -1 or 2 Mbps-, it’s still enough to cover some of the student needs.
One drawback so far seems to be the number of Access Points that will be installed and thus the complete coverage that they will provide. The Vicente Rocafuerte high school’s rector, for instance, stated that although they have been told that 2 Access Points will be installed, they are not aware of the total coverage that they will provide yet.
This rises up the question of whether a limited internet bandwidth along with a limited number of Access Points will ultimately deliver an appropriate service that will meet the students’ needs or not. Some problems that could arise from this type of installation would be the excessive number of students per Access Point, or an excessive coverage that would give a poor service on far distances, between many others.
My concern is based on what Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil, said, a kind of black or white statement: “it’s simple, it works or it doesn’t work. You sit down in your high school or park, open your laptop and if you have a wireless internet connection, it works. If not, it doesn’t”, referring to the fact that in these two-year service contract with Telconet will be continuously evaluated. In the long run, chances are that the number of students using the service will increase are high, and capacity will some day become a bigger concern.
Nonetheless, my overall score for this initiative is positive, and I hope that the City Hall will continue with this project to provide Wi-Fi coverage to other zones within the city.